Fine-arts students to assist Schuler

The Marion High School Forensics department is planning a Fine Arts Performance night, Thursday, April 26, as a benefit for a fellow student, Matthew Schuler,who has undergone surgery for cancer.

Schuler, son of Gary and Mary Schuler of Marion, is a senior who has been active in the fine arts program at Marion High School. Over spring break he had a cyst removed from his neck. Days later the pathology report came back positive for cancer.

April 11, Schuler underwent a five-hour surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to remove the cancer in a salivary gland and lymph node.

“Just before he left for the Mayo clinic,” said Janet Killough, forensic instructor. “He told his classmates, ‘Don’t worry, God will take care of me.'”

His mother said it is believed the cancer growth was removed at the time of surgery, and tests taken on tissue samples during the surgery show no additional sign of cancer.

“But cancer cells are microscopic and can’t be seen,” Mary Shuler said. “So we are looking at different options to kill the cells that may still be there.”

Not all of the costly medical care is covered under insurance, and fellow students went to Killough to see what could be done to help.

“Matt has a lot of support-not only from his family, but from friends and his classmates as well,” Killough said.

“He is very involved in school,” Killough said. “This year he was the lead part in both of the school theatrical productions. He’s involved in the music program through jazz band and swing singers and is a member of the National Honor Society.”

She said Schuler and his partner, Mark Hanson, took first place in the state competition for improvised duet acting, and he took third place in the state for solo serious acting.

Besides playing the guitar, Schuler writes Christian lyrics and sings his own music. He and his brother, Timothy, have performed their music at several area churches.

His plans following graduation are to further develop his music and go into Christian youth ministries.

Schuler’s mother agrees with Killough that her son has had a “remarkably positive attitude” through his illness that has helped those around him better deal with the situation.

“And we appreciate so much how the community has been there for our support,” said Mary Schuler. “Many have shared their cancer experiences and we have learned from them.”

The menu for the freewill benefit includes the following: grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and baked beans. The meal will be served in the downstairs of the Marion City Building from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Upstairs in the auditorium there will be a fine-arts program.

“This is a ‘come and go’ type of evening,” Killough said. “We want everyone to come and enjoy what the students are doing.”

Swing Swingers and solos students will give vocal music presentations prepared for state contest from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Students who have competed in state forensic competition will perform between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The evening will close with instrumental music including the jazz band and instrumental solos students have taken to state competition from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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