OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - A college athlete from Oakland is in the fight of his life after being diagnosed with bone cancer that has spread to his lungs.
Ramone Sanders Jr., 19, is being treated at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital at Mission Bay in San Francisco.
"Just keep fighting because at this point, I'm not only fighting for myself anymore. I'm fighting for my daughter also," Sanders said on Monday night via Facetime.
From his hospital room, he told KTVU that his baby girl, Nevaeh, just turned 3 monhts old.
He said his love for his family and football is giving him strength to tackle bone cancer.
"Prayer, positive attitude helps you forget all about the negativity," Sanders said.
He just started chemotherapy last week.
Sanders played linebaker for Oakland's McClymonds High and continued when he started at Laney College last fall.
In November, he broke the femur in his left leg. That's when he learned he had cancer.
"When I first heard about it, I cried," Sanders said. But he said the support of his family helped him move forward.
"That really hurt us. As a family, it hurt us," said his father, Ramone Sanders Sr.
He described his son as the caregiver in the family.
"To see our son go through something like that...he's been our man. He took care of me. He took care of his mom," Ramone and his family said they know it will be a long and challenging journey ahead, but that they have faith they will get through this.
The Oakland Unified School District and the family have started a Gofundme to help with medical expenses.
The Oakland Raiders and the Fam1St Family Foundation have provided Sanders and his father tickets to the Super Bowl in Atlanta in February.
"Be around all the people that you love. People who are going to motivate you, want to see you get better, want to see you fulfill your dreams," said Sanders said.
Everett and Jones Barbeque Restaurant in Oakland is hosting a fundraiser for him Sanders on Feb. 17. Ramone said he is determined to play football again.