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Campus community mourns loss of ‘caring, loving’ student

Sacramento+State+student+Isaiah+Alexander%2C+27%2C+passed+away+Saturday+after+a+years-long+battle+with+renal+medullary+carcinoma.+Members+of+the+campus+community+mourned+his+loss+Monday+and+plan+to+pay+tribute+to+Alexander+with+a+slideshow+in+the+University+Union+on+Wednesday.+%28Photo+by+Francisco+Medina%29
Sacramento State student Isaiah Alexander, 27, passed away Saturday after a years-long battle with renal medullary carcinoma. Members of the campus community mourned his loss Monday and plan to pay tribute to Alexander with a slideshow in the University Union on Wednesday. (Photo by Francisco Medina)

Sacramento State student Isaiah Alexander, 27, passed away Saturday after a years-long battle with renal medullary carcinoma. Members of the campus community mourned his loss Monday and plan to pay tribute to Alexander with a slideshow in the University Union on Wednesday. (Photo by Francisco Medina)

Sacramento State student Isaiah Alexander, 27, passed away Saturday after a years-long battle with renal medullary carcinoma. Members of the campus community mourned his loss Monday and plan to pay tribute to Alexander with a slideshow in the University Union on Wednesday. (Photo by Francisco Medina)

John Ferrannini

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Members of the campus community are mourning the loss of Sacramento State student Isaiah Alexander, who died Saturday of renal medullary carcinoma, a rare form of cancer that attacks the kidneys. He was 27.

Alexander, a communication studies major, was the vice president of the Black Student Union and the subject of a profile in The State Hornet last December in which he discussed his battle with the aggressive cancer that typically does not show symptoms until the advanced stage.

Christine Hunter, the president of the BSU, said Monday that she will remember Alexander as being “positive, in spite of everything.”

“He was a sensitive, caring, loving person who talked to everyone,” Hunter said. “You never knew he was in pain. He was passionate about uniting the black community on this campus.”

Hunter said that Alexander impacted her life in so many ways that she “can’t explain.”

“He showed me how to be a leader,” she said. “He’s kind of like my brother — we were very close.”

Hunter said that she is going to show a slideshow in Alexander’s memory at the University Union’s Orchard Suite at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Sac State student Maya Coleman said that she met Alexander at a BSU meeting. Even though she wasn’t as close to Alexander as others, she will never forget his warmth.

“He never made me feel like I was anything less than family,” Coleman said. “He was super supportive and passionate about everything he did.”

Alexander’s mother Soror said in an interview that her son’s condition had been deteriorating for the past few weeks.

“The disease hit every organ in his body,” she said. “The week before his birthday, his body started changing weekly. You could see the difference each week.”

Soror said that Alexander “fought a good fight” against cancer.

“He never closed his eyes Saturday — even when he was resting,” she said. “When he was finally over, his face looked more like his face than before he passed away. I heard his last breath.”

In the December profile, Alexander said that he initially went into denial after having been told that he had two years to live, but the prognosis became a source of motivation for him to do more.

“There’s things you can control and things you can’t control. A lot of times we worry about the things we can’t control and that keeps us from handling the things we can control,” Alexander said. “Being able to eliminate the distractions with the situation I’m in is a blessing. It’s a challenge, for sure — it’s not easy.”

Alexander took on more classes at school and pursued various business ventures, including a line of fashion-forward fanny packs.

Alexander was being considered for specialized treatment at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, but Soror said that he did not receive it after the trial didn’t work.

“They planned to have another (trial) but his body was too weak,” she said.

Soror said that her son wanted a tree planted by the Martin Luther King Jr. Center on campus in his memory. She also hopes to set up a scholarship in her son’s name.

She added that people remember her son as a compassionate man who fought for what was right.

“They remember his spirit, his inspiration, encouraging others to do better,” she said. “In everybody’s life, he’s inspired somebody. He was always willing to help out when he could.”

Soror said that she will begin to plan memorial services this week.

Sac State student Classie Bush explained how she will remember Alexander.

“I will always remember that smile and that gold hoverboard,” she said. “I’ll always remember him with the slogan ‘Fight with faith, live with freedom.’ ”

RELATED: Friends remember beloved student at campus tribute

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9 Comments

9 Responses to “Campus community mourns loss of ‘caring, loving’ student”

  1. Mo on May 1st, 2017 8:30 pm

    I’ll miss you brother. Till we meet again.

  2. Natalie on May 1st, 2017 10:12 pm

    We will miss you Isaiah, you left an incredible legacy behind. Thank you for always speaking life and inspiring everyone you came in contact with. I will never forget that smile! May you rest in the sweetest peace.

  3. Deniz Buyuktanir on May 2nd, 2017 11:49 am

    I miss you bro, you always made me laugh since Middle School and ill never forget how you impacted my life. Ill see you again one day, believe that!

  4. Jenna on May 2nd, 2017 9:44 pm

    Love you bro. Your loving memory will live on forever.

  5. Ja Leesa Williams on May 3rd, 2017 12:00 pm

    Even though I didn’t know you very well. Seeing you fight your fight the way you did gave so many people inspiration. I will always remember you for your warm heart, and words of wisdom. You will truly be missed! Rest in Paradise Brotha!

  6. Dr. Marcellene Watson-Derbigny on May 3rd, 2017 3:01 pm

    You meant the world to us. Your positive approach to life is what inspires excellence in us all. We will miss you.

  7. Allie on May 3rd, 2017 11:29 pm

    Your lost presence will impact everyone who you encountered. Thank you for blessing us while living out your life here on earth. Enjoy heaven sweet king. Loving you from a distance as always.

  8. Friends remember beloved student at campus tribute – The State Hornet on May 7th, 2017 7:59 pm

    […] Campus community mourns loss of ‘caring, loving’ student […]

  9. Project Optimism celebrates members with first Black & White Gala – The State Hornet on July 14th, 2017 7:44 pm

    […] awards given was the Isaiah Alexander Memorial Scholarship, which was made in honor of Alexander who died earlier this year from renal medullary carcinoma. His mother, Yvonne Alexander, presented the scholarship at the […]

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