By Lou Marzeles

Donor and recipient families meet to honor and share


Lou Marzeles

TWO LIVES LIVE ON: Goldendale's Cliff West is alive today because of the kindness of a Spokane family who lost their son, Chris Hammers.

Cliff West worked for Klickitat County for 25 years and lived in Goldendale since 1970. Two years ago, it seemed likely that he was ready for his epitaph summing up his life. Today West is not only alive and well but running races and living more fully than ever.

All this hinged on two sudden turns of events, one life-giving, the other a tragedy.

"It was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis," West recalls of the day he heard why he was dying. One of his lungs was scarred and rapidly losing functionality. "I never smoked, do not drink," he says. "I was just always a very, very active person, and I had this disease for 10 to 12 years and did not know it." Doctors themselves didn't know how he cam...

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