ANKENY, Iowa — A beloved Ankeny teacher afflicted with a rare form of Lyme Disease for two years may finally overcome it, thanks to his former students.

Kevin McColley has taught art at Ankeny elementary and middle schools for more than a decade, but stepped away for medical leave this month so he could pursue treatment for his disease in Florida.

“When I walk from my car to my desk, I’m spent,” McColley said. “I haven’t been able to see my girls in a choir concert or a band concert. Just basic functions.”

McColley said he likely caught Lyme Disease while working on his backyard fence with shorts and a t-shirt on. He now experiences symptoms including fatigue, fever, and brain fog.

The treatment could cost $60,000 and is not covered by insurance. However, a GoFundMe started by McColley’s friend, Brian Gillette, has raised more than $30,000 for the treatment in just a week.

“I don’t think there’s any way we can repay him for everything he’s done for our kids in Ankeny,” Gillette said. “He’s meant so much for our kids and our family.”

Those donating including Ankeny Centennial High School senior Kendall Jorgensen, who was taught by McColley during her years at Northeast Elementary School.

“I wish I could tell him more often how thankful I am for him and how big his influence is on my life,” Jorgensen said. “I personally donated $250 but I would give him the world if I could.”

McColley said he is humbled by the support.

“Part of me just doesn’t understand what it is and why I deserve the help that anybody else wouldn’t get,” McColley said. “My heart is just full.”