Rachel Lucy Givens was full of life, love, and laughter. She had a passion and natural talent for athletics, especially basketball and soccer. During high school, Rachel led her team to multiple state championship appearances and then went to college on a soccer scholarship. Although she was a serious and competitive athlete, she also loved to make people laugh and enjoyed being goofy.
In 2010, Rachel received her Para Educator Certificate and began teaching at the Muckleshoot Tribal School (MTS). As a proud member of the Navajo Nation, Rachel felt it was important to serve as a role model for young Native Americans. She was the head coach of the MTS girls’ basketball team as well as both the assistant and head coach of the school’s co-ed soccer team. Just being part of the tribal community was important to Rachel – when she wasn’t working, she was volunteering wherever the school needed help.
On the night of October 5, 2013, Rachel was struck by a vehicle while she crossed the street to meet a group of friends. Just 23, she fought for her life for two days, but lost the battle on October 7, 2013.
Even after her death, Rachel continues to help others. Generosity was part of her character, and her organ donor status was typical of her giving until her last breath. Through the donation of her heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys she saved the lives of five individuals. She also donated her corneas and tissue.
In recognition of her leadership and service, the Muckleshoot Tribal School has established a scholarship in her honor. In May 2014, the “Rachel GIVES” basketball tournament was created. All of the proceeds go to her scholarship fund.
“I’m very proud of her decision to donate,” said her mother, Laura Givens. “She always thought about the bigger picture and about other people. She didn’t want people to suffer, and she accomplished that.”