Saturday, basketball enthusiast gathered at Roy Wilkins park to play ball for a serious cause, brain cancer. In the first of what is hoping to become an annual event, Alfredia Sales-Fairnot organized a fundraising barbeque and basketball tournament to celebrate the life of her son Sherrod Robertson and raise awareness of brain tumors. Sherrod passed away from brain cancer in August of last year at age 25.
Still fresh with grief and the memory of her son, Alfredia talked about Sherrod’s journey from headache to diagnosis, surgery to his final journey home. During this time, Alfredia was surprised to know how many others were suffering a similar fate. “Maybe I cannot save my son, but I can help save somebody else child” she said.
Close friends and family, also dealing with their grief, attended the event to lend their support and help what they hope will be a movement in the name of their friend. Talk of Sherrod highlighted a young man who was a loyal companion, friend and mentor to many. Sherrod was an avid basketball player and aspired to be a professional. His friend Sundiata Gaines, did achieve professional status and visited the event sharing memories. He and all of Sherrod’s male friends at the event, were friendly, intelligent, and strong representations of the men that live and grow in our community. “He wasn’t a bum, he did something” his mother said contradicting typical mainstream notions of young urban men.
Fundraising and charitable events are in the preliminary stages, but his mother promises a similar, more robust event next year. She also plans to take her message about brain cancer to points around the community. Sherrod leaves behind a son. For more information on diagnosis and treatment click here.