GRAND PRAIRIE - A principal who's school and district joined together to support him after a lung cancer diagnosis has died.
In his 40s, a non-smoker and an athlete, Lorimer Arendse, a principal at Grand Prairie High School, was shocked when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. However, his courage throughout his battle inspired those around him.
We are saddened to announce Mr. Lorimer Arendse, principal of Grand Prairie High School, passed away this morning after a courageous battle with cancer. Mr. Arendse was a beloved educator that had a close relationship with GPHS staff and students. He will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/AzEoNt6IcA— Grand Prairie ISD (@grandprairieisd) December 15, 2017
In October, Grand Prairie High staff and students were joined by their cross-town rivals, the South Grand Prairie Warriors, to cheer on Arendse at one of the most anticipated football games face-offs of the year. Proceeds from concession-stand sales went toward the principal's medical expenses and to others battling cancer.
His fight highlighted the increase in lung cancer diagnoses among non-smokers, which has doubled over the last decade.
Up to 20 percent of people who get lung cancer are non-smokers. According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women.
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