Shortly after Marshall and Ashley Lauen celebrated their wedding, Marshall started feeling fatigue, losing weight and was experiencing trouble breathing. He figured it was an allergy to something blowing in the Oklahoma wind.
Marshall's Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis and treatment
After multiple biopsies and no diagnosis, Marshall came to MD Anderson in May 2013 looking for answers. Within the first two days, Marshall received his stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis and began treatment.
Marshall and Ashley made frequent trips to MD Anderson during Marshall's six months of chemotherapy, but continued living in Oklahoma so he could continue his work as a pastor and teacher.
Throughout Marhsall's Hodgkin lymphoma treatment, many churchgoers, students, family members and friends have volunteered their support for the couple. Each day, Ashley opens her inbox to see email after email from church members Marshall has pastored to, students he has taught or co-workers he has helped.
"There is no way we would even be able to be at MD Anderson if not for the support of people that love us," Ashley says.
One day, while the couple was sitting in the center's waiting room, tired and ready to go home, they opened their inbox to find an extra special email: a video created by more than 100 students at Mustang North Middle School, where Marshall teaches eighth grade science.
The video get well card was exactly what they needed, Marshall says.
"The video reminds me that it doesn't take long to make an impression on people," Marshall says. "It allowed me to see that others are being inspired by my suffering."
"My school has done so much to help me out, which I wasn't expecting because I hadn't been there very long," he says. "But one of the things I've been reminded of through my cancer journey is it doesn't take long to make an impression on people."
Read more about Marshall and Ashley on their blog.