Family Statement Regarding Brian Hall. INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- May 25, 2002 -- Many of you in the Indy Racing community have become Brian Hall's and our friends over the last several months. Sadly, we his family, must announce the passing of ...
Family Statement Regarding Brian Hall.
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- May 25, 2002 -- Many of you in the Indy Racing community have become Brian Hall's and our friends over the last several months. Sadly, we his family, must announce the passing of Brian Hall on May 23, 2002.
Brian was afflicted with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease nearly 5 years ago. Despite a courageous battle, Brian knew and understood the eventual outcome of his disease, as there is, as yet, no known cure for ALS.
Brian's battle with his disease was the inspiration behind the establishment of the Brian's Wish Foundation. Under Brian's guidance and direction, the "Brian's Wish" program was created to promote Brian's "wish" to raise public and media awareness of ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease and to ultimately find a cure for this cruel and vicious, fatal disease.
Brian's Wish is the result of the support and contributions from many loving and caring people. Many are members of www.trackforum.com, an online racing forum. One member, Barb Lyons, one of the special nurses at St. Vincent's Hospice in Indianapolis, where Brian spent the last five months of his life, took the time to become not only his caregiver but also his friend. Brian and Barb quickly realized they shared a common interest in racing. Their mutual racing interests and his caregivers extra efforts to make his life better were the catalyst for Brian's Wish.
Through her involvement with TrackForum and her personal connections within the Indy Racing community, Barb Lyons arranged visits from drivers, owners and crewmembers, which put smiles on Brian's face we had not seen in many months. These caring people, as well as many of Brian's fellow racing fans from across the country, generously contributed a veritable "museum" of racing memorabilia that greatly helped raise Brian's spirits.
The entire Indy Racing community, along with many in other forms of racing, through its members generosity, actions, compassion and support, helped show Brian that his life truly did have meaning and purpose. His adoptive racing "family" helped Brian create and leave a lasting legacy.
These remarkable gifts gave Brian both a purpose and a peace in his final days. And that, the family feels, not only extended Brian's life but also significantly improved the quality of his remaining time with us. For that we will be always thankful.
During the month of May the Greatest Spectacle in Racing is held here in Indianapolis. This was always a high point of Brian's year.
This year the Bronze badges at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are a tribute to Sid Collins, formerly the Voice of the Indianapolis 500, who was also afflicted with Lou Gehrig's Disease. Additionally, the month of May is National ALS Awareness Month.
To us, Brian's family, these circumstances plus the fact that many of the cars in this years Indy 500 will display a Brian's Wish decal to commemorate Brian, seem both fitting and comforting.
Brian told us recently; "please remind everyone that it is my sincere "wish", that with the support of all of my many new friends, Brian's Wish will continue to develop and grow as well as it has begun and will be successful in helping to find a cure for ALS."
We as Brian's loving family pledge, along with both Brian's new and old friends, to continue, and ultimately win, this fight. We will continue to use Brian's Wish to help raise awareness and find a cure for ALS.
For the last 30 years Brian has had a ticket for the Indianapolis 500. Although Brian doesn't have a ticket this year we know he will have one of the best seats at the track.
And because of the efforts of so many wonderful people, we know he will once again be smiling . . .
Our sincere thanks to all of you who have made such an important contribution and difference in both our, Brian's, and other ALS patients lives.
Brian Hall Memorial Service Information:
Mortuary: Aaron-Ruben-Nelson at 86th and Ditch, Indianapolis, Indiana
Date: Saturday, June 1st
Memorial Service: 11:00 am
Procession following to Crown Hill Cemetery where Brian's ashes will be scattered among the trees as was his wish . . . he always loved nature and loved camping
Celebration Gathering following at Sommerset Lakes Apartment Clubhouse (near 75th & Keystone . . . where Brian lived)
As was suggested at the hospice staff prayer service following Brian's passing, anyone who would like to is invited and encouraged to feel comfortable wearing their Brian's Wish t-shirt at the Memorial Service.
About "Brian's Wish" . . .
Brian is a young man much like any one of us. He has a caring family and a young son. He also has a fatal disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Brian, it turns out, is also a very big fan of Indy Racing and the Indianapolis 500.
The "Brian's Wish" program is a story about how one person made an effort and made a difference.
One of Brian's special caregiver's at St. Vincent Hospice in Indianapolis, a wonderful and compassionate fellow racing enthusiast named Barb Lyons, realized Brian's interest in Indy Racing and mentioned it in an online racing community; www.trackforum.com. The rest, as they say, is history. In a matter of days, word about Brian had spread throughout the Indy Racing community. Drivers, sponsors, team owners, crew members, series officials and most of all other devoted fans like Brian, all came together to help make Brian's life a little brighter.
And along the way found that a simple act of kindness can become so much more . . .
By their private, unselfish and caring gestures these generous people set in motion what has blossomed into the "Brian's Wish" program.
Overwhelmed by the kindness and support from these complete strangers, both well known and ordinary people alike, Brian decided he'd like to find a way to leave a lasting legacy of gratitude and hope. One that would both remember those who helped him and use that support to generate awareness of his disease in the hope that others would be helped as well.
Thus Brian's "wish" is simple . . . he'd like us to help find a cure for his disease
Although the difficult fact is it won't help Brian, his hope is that it will help others who may follow his path.
To help with Brian's wish, the Indy Racing community will be helping raise awareness for this disease by displaying "Brian's Wish" logo's on a number of the race car's in the Indy Racing series, including the Indianapolis 500, along with on team equipment and apparel. Indy Racing fans will also have the opportunity to show their support for "Brian's Wish" and ALS awareness. By making a contribution to the "Brian's Wish" program, Indy Racing fans can help Brian's Wish achieve it's goals. Please visit www.brianswish.com for more information.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually lead to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With all voluntary muscle action affected, patients in the later stages of the disease become totally paralyzed. Yet, through it all, for the vast majority of people, their minds remain unaffected.
HOW YOU CAN HELP -- In July 1939, when the great Lou Gehrig stood before thousands of fans in Yankee Stadium, weakened from the early symptoms of ALS, he said "I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." Lou Gehrig really meant that and his tears showed he meant it. He had friends, family and a loving public to help him through the last days of his life as the disease slowly destroyed him. Today, those faced with ALS have The ALS Association (ALSA) and now Brian's Wish with them offering support and information, helping them to cope, physically, emotionally and intellectually, to live more productively and independently.
Please visit Brian's Wish at www.brianswish.com for more information on how you can help.