UPDATE: Longtime Warren High School Teacher Dies

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UPDATE 8/20/2014 3:45 PM

As students returned to Warren High School Wednesday, they mourned the loss of a longtime teacher.

Dennis Sturm died Tuesday at the age of 51.

He was a teacher at Warren High School for 28 years.

In 2007 he received the award for Special Education Teacher of the Year.

Sturm was battling cancer.

We covered a benefit that was held for him in May.

Students and teachers there told us he was a really important part of the school.

Click on the link to the right to view his full obit.

A cancer patient in and out of the hospital.

A Warren High School teacher is fighting for his life.

But he's not in the battle alone.

Three years ago Dennis Sturm got some terrifying news.

A tumor was lodged in his brain.

Doctors removed it, but it came back two more times.

Years of treatment, the chemotherapy is taking a toll.

"This is the first year he hasn't been able to work as a teacher - that's been pretty hard on our family," says Alyssa McIntire.

Colleagues say school's not the same without him.

"He's been such an important part of Warren High School for such a long time, he's such a wonderful person we just wanted to acknowledge how great he is and have this opportunity to just share and take part in anything we can to help him," says Warren High School teacher Kim Wile.

It's not just faculty that feels the loss.

Students say he's made a big impact on their education

"He'll come and work with you one on one, and he's a really great person to have around," says Chelsea Matthews, a Warren High School student.

Loved ones decided to help Sturm in his battle.

Hundreds came out to Lazy H Farm over the weekend for a bingo benefit.

The Sturm family says the extra money will help with hospital bills, but what really helps?

Knowing that so many people care.

"It's amazing to see all of us finally come together and see everybody here... it's the entire community, the way they know my dad - so it's really unbelievable how many people are here," says McIntire.

Sturm hopes to be back in the classroom in the fall.

And thanks to community support, a little time off won't hold him back.

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