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Community rallying around Queen Creek principal battling cancer

Posted at 11:43 AM, Dec 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-04 06:44:47-05

Sandy Lundberg is known as the staple of her Queen Creek community. She serves as principal at Casteel High School near Power and East Riggs roads. 

But her students know her beyond the classroom as a big cheerleader for the 2017 3A State Champion football team. 

Now, the roles are reversing as the community is rallying around her as she battles Stage 4 lung cancer. 

It was Sports360AZ that first tipped us off to Lundberg's incredible story.

On Saturday, the school came together and created a fundraiser for her. A raffle, a silent auction, and breakfast, all of it to help raise money for the extensive fight Lundberg is taking on. 

In total, the fundraiser raised more than $21,000. 

"At first, when you get the diagnosis to something like that, it's... shock," Lundberg said. "Like, Stage 4? I mean, I felt great!"

Lundberg said she had no idea she was sick. She had a pain in her hip. But, after going to the chiropractor, it became clear something deeper was wrong. Lundberg eventually got the lung cancer diagnosis and learned it had spread.

But, she said that an event like this is keeping her strong.

"It's overwhelming in a very humbling way to see the community rally behind you," Lundberg said.

ABC15 also spoke with organizers of the four-hour long fundraising event at Casteel High School. One of them is a dear friend of Lundberg's and had to do some long-distance planning from Minnesota to try and be involved.

"Sandy and I started teaching 30 years ago. So, I go back 30 years with her and then she moved to Arizona and we have new friends and new people that she's connected with," said Sandy Forster. "So, it was all of us who came together and pulled this whole fundraiser off." 

Even though the fundraiser is over now, there is an online GoFundMe campaign.