Filed Under: UC Davis
DAVIS (CBS13) – Family of a researcher killed in Ethiopia is trying to raise money to continue her legacy.
Sharon Gray set out on a journey around the world to help Ethiopian researchers to farm and help women there to have sustainable lives.
“It was our first time in Africa and we were really enjoying exploring the country and its beauty,” said Siohban Brady, who was Sharon’s partner.
“Ultimately empower them and their children and to not have them suffer painful and difficult lives,” she said.
But tragically three days into the trip, Sharon was killed. Authorities say rocks were thrown at a van she was in. It came on the heels of social unrest in Ethiopia and a massacre of more than 600 people.
“I’m handling at one breath at a time,” said Sharon’s husband Cody Marklez, who is also a researcher at UC Davis.
Marklez said it’s the positive life his wife led and her passion for science that keeps him going.
“Sharon and I always strive to push one another to do good in the world through our science,” he said.
In Ethiopia, Sharon met a young researcher she wanted to mentor back in the states. Now her family is raising money and making part of that possible.
“She was limited by the resources that she had in Ethiopia and so Sharon was really inspired by that and she really wanted to bring her to the U.S. to work and to grow as scientist,” he said.
While it has been a painful turn of events, they want everyone to remember the good Sharon did.
“We had so many positive interactions with Sharon and she touched so many lives immensely, this will be the only negative memory that we have of her and there’s no way that that can overshadow the positive aspects of Sharon’s life,” he said.
Their family wants everyone to remember the beauty Sharon saw in life and continue to let her work live on.
“A bright light, she was funny, she was brilliant, she was patient she was kind, and a really incredible person,” Brady said.
Sharon’s family has a GoFundMe page set up at https://www.plb.ucdavis.edu/sharongray/.
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