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Inspiration for 'Sarah Strong' campaign passes away

Published On: Dec 24 2013 06:12:16 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 08 2013 05:01:57 PM CST

A courageous Elkhart Memorial sophomore has lost her battle with colon cancer.

If you were anywhere in Michiana over the last several months, you had to have seen it: The Sarah Strong campaign was everywhere.

It revolved around Sarah Crane, who became the youngest person in the U.S. to be diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.

At about 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon, Sarah lost her battle to beat the cancer.

On Saturday WSBT talked with Sally Faus, Sarah's grandmother, by phone — about four hours after Sarah's passing.

She tells us Sarah died comfortably at home surrounded by her parents and sisters. She came home from the hospital that morning after getting an infection earlier in the week that prompted her to miss her last chemo treatment.

At that time doctors also did a scan showing there had been a lot more growth of the aggressive cancer that Sarah fought so valiantly to beat.

Sarah's grandma also wanted to acknowledge the amazing role the community played over the last several months in supporting Sarah. There were the trademark purple T-shirts. The Facebook page movement and the messages that went up all over the area.

And it quickly  became  a message that reached well beyond Michiana, which is something Sarah's grandma spoke about months ago. 

"I have never seen anyone come together like they have for Sarah's cause. It's remarkable," she told us.

The Elkhart Community Schools issued the following statement, which reads in part:

"Her legacy will be lasting and her life not forgotten by the people of Elkhart and Elkhart Community Schools. Today our hearts grieve for the loss of Sarah, but we will remember the gift of her life, her Sarah Strong tenacity and her unwavering determination."

Sarah's grandma tells us arrangements are still pending. She says when Sarah came home from the hospital she had two requests: She wanted to attend her twin's swim meet next Tuesday and she wanted to go to the school's winter formal dance next Saturday. Tonight those requests will go forever unfulfilled.

LINK: The Sarah Strong campaign continues