More than one hundred family members and friends met this morning at California Road Missionary Church to say their final goodbyes to 15-year-old Sarah Crane. Seating at the church was limited and was reserved for closer friends and family so the church offered a live stream online.
The Elkhart Memorial sophomore lost her battle against stage-four colon cancer last Saturday.
Her strength and courage throughout her fight inspired the Sarah Strong Campaign. Thousands of people from the area and around the world showed their support to Crane and her family by raising money and wearing purple. A Facebook page dedicated to the campaign has more than 10,000 likes and posters on the site continue to share words of support.
Shortly after her death, administrators of the site posted, "Unfortunately for us, Sarah's battle ended on 12/7/13. She was at home with her family when she finally passed on. Her legacy and spirit will live on in all of us. Sarah is now cancer-free and healthy. Please continue to pray for all who loved Sarah and are touched by her story and fight."
Crane's grandmother tells WSBT she wants them to keep working against the disease that killed Crane.
Marvin and Karen Metzler were two of the people who attended Sarah's funeral.
Marvin says, "A lot of love. you can tell Sarah cared about people and that was very evident right to the very end. she never asked why. she just always cared about others."
Marvin worked with Sarah's dad.
He found one of the speeches during the funeral service to be especially meaningful.
Marvin says, "One of her sisters talked about the dash between the year that we're born and the year that we pass away and we need to make the dash count."
Karen says, "The spirit of God was very real there. people were touched. There was crying because we hurt and we have pain but in that pain we can also have joy because we know the end and the end is with Christ in heaven."
Once the church service was over people made their way across the street to the California Road Cemetery.
Some wore Sarah Strong sweatshirts while others were just wearing purple.
Marvin says, "It's been neat to see all the publicity that she's gotten not because of the publicity sake but for what she stood for and all that she's done for the community and drawing people together and making people care."