AKRON, Ind. (WNDU) - A local football coach and teacher has been fighting for students' success for years, but now 53-year-old Jeff Shriver is fighting his own battle.
Shriver was diagnosed with liver cancer just weeks ago, on Nov. 21st, the day after his birthday.
The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, things got worse, and Shriver was airlifted to a hospital.
While doctors have mixed opinions about his condition and progress, the community is standing by his side.
Shriver is a legend at Tippecanoe Valley High School.
When you ask people to describe Shriver, they will tell you he is dedicated, loving, a leader, and always teaches you something.
“How to live. How to love people, and just be there for people when they need it the most; and how to devote your time fully to something,” said friend Darren Parker.
“He’s very lively and very upbeat. He's always encouraging people and making a ruckus wherever he goes,” said daughter Stephanie McCulley.
Shriver has been a football coach and history teacher at the high school for nearly 30 years.
Aaron Norris coached with Shriver, and said he is exceptional.
“Shrive was a player's coach. All the kids love Shrive. He was a firm coach, yet he cared about the kids and it showed,” Norris said.
“We know that our dad has touched a lot of lives, and made a huge impact on people,” McCulley said.
He impacts people with his words too, and is known for his signature phrases like "Ya fired up?" or "Ya smilin?"
“These are things that Shriver would say and you would hear it all the time,” Norris said.
His cancer diagnosis came as a shock to his family.
“It really hit the community hard too. He's a staple around here,” Norris said.
On Saturday, family, friends, former coaches, students and complete strangers, gathered for a benefit dinner to support Shriver.
Between this fundraiser and others, $15,000 has been raised so far, and all proceeds go towards medical bills.
“A lot of people love him and a lot of people want him back home,” Shriver said.
16 News Now will keep you updated on his progress as we learn more.