Honoring The Life And Legacy Of Chris Hammers - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Honoring The Life And Legacy Of Chris Hammers

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Chris Hammers lived life to the fullest.

"Chris was just full of life, that's all he wanted to do was live life," said Chris' mom, Jenney Hammers.

Always the adventurer, Chris received his motorcycle endorsement in May, 2013. Three weeks later, at the corner of Maple and Mission, in North Spokane, Chris lost control of his motorcycle, and was thrown from his bike, crashing head-on into a car.

"I can play back exactly what happened the day of his accident," said Jenney. "[I didn't know] at that moment that that would be our last memory of him and his healthy life."

Chris was in the hospital, in a coma, for 8 days.

"We prayed like crazy for a miracle, and that he would be able to recover," explained Jenney.

But Chris' brain injury was too severe.

"It's like your bones are being crushed from the inside out," said Chris' dad, James. "There's no fixing it. It's like your soul being ripped out."

Chris Hammers died on June 13. He was 23 years old.

"If we believed this would be a miracle, we just had to accept the fact that this wasn't the miracle we were hoping for originally," said Jenney.

James added, "it's like our darkest hour is somebody else's hope and prayers being answered, and I'm still trying to process all that."

250 miles away, a man named Cliff West needed a miracle.

"[I had] idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis...scarring of the lungs," explained Cliff. "It was terminal. I was given 18 months to live."

And then, he got the call.

"I have a single lung, my right lung transplant," said Cliff. "And it was a gift from Chris Hammers. It's more than I could ever ask for in my whole life."

So, after months of communicating online, Cliff drove from his home in Goldendale, Washington to Spokane to show Chris's family what he's doing with this gift of a new life.

"I just hope that this can be a lot of healing for them," said Cliff. "There's no words for this."

"For sure it helps us to process that his [Chris'] life was meaningful," said Jenney, "beyond the day that he left this earth."

And, after an emotional meeting at Manito Park, together, these 2 families took to the streets of Spokane for a Spokane tradition to honor the life and legacy of Chris Hammers.

Together, they did Bloomsday, 2015.

For some people running Bloomsday, it's a race, but for others, it's a Spokane tradition.

But for these 2 families, this race was an important step. Because with each step, and each stride, as Cliff had the energy to run some of the race, they all honored Chris' legacy.

"For Chris, this is all about Chris," said Cliff during the race.

Chris Hammers' life was too short - there's no doubt he had more miles in him.

But in honoring the legacy of Chris' life, we remember the impact he made in the years he was given.

"Knowing that our son is able to live through Cliff's is emotional and wonderful and rewarding," said Jenney. "Just knowing that Cliff found this new life, and new found love for just doing these types of events, and doing it with us, is very cool."

And, in choosing to be an organ donor, Chris Hammers gave years and years of additional life to someone who will continue to rack up miles day after day.

For more information on organ donation in the Inland Northwest, here is the site: http://washington.providence.org/hospitals/sacred-heart-medical-center-and-childrens-hospital/services/nephrology-kidney-care/kidney-transplant/organ-donor/

If you want to learn more about the Hammers family, click here: https://www.facebook.com/SupportForChrisHammers?fref=ts

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