OAKLAND (KRON) – Family and friends gathering in the East Bay on Sunday after a local high school and college football standout lost a year-long battle with cancer.
Those loved ones held a tribute concert in Oakland to remember the life of Ramone Sanders.
It was a tribute filled with music and memories, honoring a life taken too soon.
Friends and family say this wasn’t just about mourning but celebrating Sanders.
Music takes over New Beginnings Community Church in Oakland, the service honoring the life of the 20-year-old.
The McClymonds High School and Laney College football star died Friday after a year-long battle with cancer.
“He was such an awesome kid there’s not a bad story on him. He was great a big teddy bear,” Jacquelyn Washington said.
Sanders godmother Jacquelyn Washington says she wants Sanders to be remembered as a person of strong faith.
She says his resiliency deserves to be celebrated.
“He was just a wonderful kid, he was just a wonderful kid we all loved him so much and I hope the community stays because of this,”
Dozens gathered to embrace one another and to show support for the family Sanders leaves behind, including a fiance and a one-year-old daughter.
“It’s a bittersweet moment because I know for a fact that the dreams that he wanted, they’re gonna happen based off of the community because they prayed for him they fought with him so I know he’s gonna be looking,” Danna Pierre-Jones said.
Danna Pierre-Jones says Sanders, unfortunately, spent most of his time with his daughter from a hospital bed.
He was diagnosed shortly after she was born.
Pierre-Jones says she’s thankful the community has come together to support them.
“All of the trials he went through, although it was a hard time for him, he tried to stay strong and push through and just to see all of the people that’s here is making me stronger because I know for a fact that he has people that love him,” Pierre-Jones said.
“Great spirit great wonderful young man he’s gonna be missed I tell you but his spirit will live on,” Pastor Keith Williams said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up on behalf of Sanders, so far it’s raised more than $16,000.