2 honored for helping Sanger shooting victim Brianna Ramirez

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Citizens who gave priceless gifts to Sanger softball player who lost eye are honored. (KFSN)

Citizens who gave priceless gifts to Sanger softball player who lost eye are honored.

Two people were honored on Wednesday for giving a Sanger High school softball player two priceless gifts to help her heal and succeed.

In February, Brianna Ramirez was shot while riding in her mom's car. They were caught in a shootout while coming home from the store.

Dozens of everyday citizens who took extraordinary measures to help another, were recognized Tuesday morning. One special Sanger High student was in the audience listening to each story. Then, Sheriff Margaret Mims shared hers.

"Members of two different gangs were firing at one another. One of those bullets did indeed find an innocent person as it went through the windshield," said Mims.

Brianna lost her right eye in a crime that remains unsolved. Her greatest fear was the possibility she wouldn't be able to play softball anymore because of her impaired vision. "My softball is going great! I thought I was going to have a lot of trouble and I haven't yet so that's really good," said Ramirez.

Brianna has overcome this challenge and many others thanks to the generous hearts of others, including Brian Grabowski. He owns an ocular prosthetics company that creates eyes for those who need them. Brian also lost his eye in high school during an accident. "It is unusual so just to find somebody in your community that stumbled upon the same situation, it was nice to help her," said Grabowski.

The new eye was a gift, that took 50 hours to create and even paint. And instantly it boosted Brianna's confidence. "Having the patch on for quite some time -- it brought attention to me. And then, getting a prosthetic in was definitely life changing for me. I wasn't viewed as different, I was viewed as everyone else," said Ramirez.

Mark Schultz is a car dealer who heard Brianna's story and began collecting money from the Fresno and Clovis new car dealers association. They gave Brianna a $10-thousand scholarship to help with college. "She is the real hero. She is the one living this day in and day out. I still think as a young gal, she's got many years to inspire and with her dream of being a pediatric nurse other people here in the Valley, which I think is a very positive thing," said Schultz.

Brianna said she was speechless by the thoughtful gifts that are already helping her to achieve her lifelong goals and the outpouring of love inspires her daily.

"People are still thinking of me, that's crazy," said Ramirez.
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