Family of Richland teen whose organs were donated to be honored Monday

April 14, 2013 

The family of Sierra Murray of Richland will be one of six families honored with a Gift of Life award by Gov. Jay Inslee in a ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday at the Legislative Building in Olympia.

Murray, a Richland High School student, would have turned 18 on April 1. She was struck by a motorist Oct. 20, 2011, outside the school and died a week later. Both kidneys and her liver were donated according to her wishes, her father Terry told the Herald at a candlelight vigil for Sierra on Dec. 2, 2011.

“Sierra gave everything she had to anyone who needed it,” said her mother Roxanne in a news release from the governor’s office. “This is a great way to honor her.”

Murray was known for being helpful in life, as well, tutoring her fellow students and volunteering at Temple Baptist Church in Richland. She had planned on pursuing a career in childhood education.

April is Donate Life Month, and more than 115,000 people are waiting for transplants nationwide, according to LifeCenter Northwest, a nonprofit organ procurement organization teaming up with the the governor’s office for the ceremony.

“I hope that by honoring these six donors today, people will see that their generosity changed the course of 16 lives and their families in a way that no other gift could,” said Inslee in the news release.

The families of Clyde Blosl, 57, of Centralia; Sharon Ballenger, 55, of Marysville; Bryce Nordhagen, 58, of Spokane; Nickloas Gray, 22, of Vancouver; and Rachel Beckwith, 9, of Bellevue, also will be recognized.

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