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Hall of Famer Charlie Sanders staying upbeat through cancer battle

Pro Football Hall of Fame Press Conference

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Charlie Sanders was known for his toughness as a player, during his Hall of Fame career with the Lions.

He needs it now, as he’s battling something bigger than any football opponent.

Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Sanders remains upbeat after undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy as he fights the disease.

“Just as on the field, Charlie Sanders is a fighter and he is going to fight to the end like any game, like any journey,” Sanders’ daughter, Charese Sailor said. “We are rallying around him and supporting him in that fight, and until God says differently, we’re going to push on. . . .

“One thing that I really do want people to know is that he feels all the prayers and all the love and he knows that there are so many people really giving back to him what he gave. So in this critical time we are just rallying with him and it’s so difficult to get to everyone, but he would like everyone to know that he really feels and appreciates their prayer.”

Sanders was diagnosed last November when doctors found a tumor behind his right knee during prep work for a knee replacement surgery. He said in the spring that “the knee operation saved my life.”

Sanders was one of the top pass-catching tight ends of the 1970s, and continued to work for the team as a a broadcaster a coach and a personnel man since a knee injury shortened his brilliant career.