Benefit to be held for local teacher fighting cancer

ECTOR, Texas (KXII) -- The Ector community is coming together to help a local teacher beat cancer and get back in the classroom.

Ector High School math teacher Kellen Murphy found out he had cancer after having a brain tumor removed back in February. He said the first thing he thought about were his students.

"With chemo, radiation, driving back and forth to Dallas every day - the hardest part is not being here," said Murphy.

Murphy graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University just last May and said he was excited to start teaching his favorite subject.

"I love the kids, I love my job. This isn't a job for me," said Murphy.

"I mean Mr. Murphy is the one that you can ask at the last second at the senior pep rally, like, 'Hey will you help join the parents and dance?' and he breaks out his moves and the whole school erupts in cheer," said Crystal Garrison, Ector PTO president.

Garrison's son is also one of Murphy's students. She said he makes math fun for him in his own creative ways, such as his 'Think Through Math' WWE belt weekly winner, who gets to take home the prize for the weekend.

"Quite hilarious when my son came out of his room with this plastic belt and I was like, 'What in the world is that?' and he's like, 'Oh, I won this in math class,'" said Garrison.

To help Murphy with living and medical expenses, on April 29th Ector ISD and PTO are hosting a three on three basketball tournament, live and silent auction and a spaghetti dinner.

"To have to go through this at 23, I couldn't imagine," said Garrison. "He's been very humble about the situation. We've asked him if there's anything that we could do and he hasn't asked for a single thing, but we want to help him out as much as we can."

Murphy just completed his second week of treatment, and if all goes well, he hopes to be back at the school in the next couple months.

He thanks everyone for the outpouring of support.

"It's been a lot to take in and it's helped every step of the way. I'm not fighting this on my own," said Murphy.

The silent auction and tournament will be all day, dinner starts at 5 p.m. and the live auction is after that. The deadline to register for the tournament is Wednesday.

If you can't attend, there is also an account set up at First United Bank under the Kellen Murphy Benefit.

To see all of the donations Murphy is receiving and updates from him or to find out more about the event, you can go to the Facebook page for the benefit:

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