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Tragedy hits Ramsay family again - how you can help

The kids of a pair of Cougs are now parentless after dad and mom each pass within a year.

Rob and Samantha Ramsay

Rob Ramsay was a former WSU pitcher who died about a year ago at age 42 after a protracted battle with brain cancer, leaving behind a wife (Samantha) and two small children (Reider and Ryan).

Now, those children are parentless: Samantha, a former WSU volleyball player and an associate professor at the University of Idaho, died last week after being struck by lightning while climbing the Swiss Alps.

Reider is 12 and Ryan is 9. They’re surrounded by people who love them, but beyond the challenge of grieving the loss of two parents in a year, they’re going to need some help navigating what lies ahead.

You might not be able to hug them or take them to their baseball games or tuck them in at night as a parent would, but you can assist them financially: Consider contributing to this GoFundMe started by one of Rob’s former teammates, Todd Belitz.

My name is Todd Belitz. Recently tragedy has once again struck close to home. ... Somehow, Samantha was able to live life with a smile after Rob's passing and the boys had to move on too without their father, hero and mentor. Samantha was a former Washington State volleyball player and close friend of both me and my wife. ... Now the boys are without either of their parents at an extremely young age. I am putting together this fund raiser to be able to help the boys as they get older. If you knew either Rob or Samantha, you knew what beautiful people they both were. I plan on making their grandparents the beneficiaries of this so they can hand over your donations to the boys as needed. Thank you in advance.

I didn’t know either Rob or Samantha, beyond watching Rob pitch at WSU and for the Mariners. But my friend, Shawn O’Neal, was close friends with both.

She was “always on the go,” O’Neal said. “She was the most alive person I ever knew. She and Rob both were. ... She was the kind of mom that wanted her kids to be like her, to be active and always doing something.”

I just made my donation. Hopefully you’ll consider doing the same.