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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’s Family
May 2002


BRIAN HALL MEMORIAL SERVICE INFORMATION:

Mortuary:                      Aaron-Ruben-Nelson at 86th and Ditch, Indianapolis, Indiana

Date:                            Saturday, June 1st

Visitation:                      10:00am-11:00am

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

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.

 

 

 BRIAN HALL INDY STAR MEMORIUM . . .
Brian K. Hall inspired auto racers to raise funds for ALS research

May 30, 2002 -- Memorial services for Brian K. Hall, 38, Indianapolis, whose wish for a cure for Lou Gehrig's disease inspired the auto racing community, will be at 11 a.m. June 1 in Aaron-Ruben- Nelson Meridian Hills Mortuary.

He died May 23.  

Full Story

  

 


 

 BRIAN'S STORY FEATURED IN INDY STAR . . .
Our own "Aunt Barb" Lyons found she had a love of auto racing in common with Brian Hall during his stay at St. Vincent Hospice. Hall, a patient with Lou Gehrig's disease and avid IRL fan, has received visits from many drivers, thanks to Lyons' posting on a Web site. -- Sonya Bordeau / iIndyStar staff photo
 
Wish come true

 Patient with Lou Gehrig's disease
 inspires decals on race cars. 


By John J. Shaughnessy 
john.shaughnessy@indystar.com

Brian Hall never expected his cause would be championed in this year's Indianapolis 500.

He never expected that Eddie Cheever Jr., Sam Hornish Jr. and many of the other race car drivers would put "Brian's Wish" decals on their high-priced, endorsement-covered race cars.

Then again, no one could have expected the remarkable story of hope, courage and faith that has unfolded through Brian, his family and the racing community in the past five months . . .  Full Story

ALSO IN THE INDYSTAR:   Brian's Wish is bright tile in larger ALS mosaic

 


 

BRIANS WISH ALERT:
Join Team TrackForum and help support Brians Wish and Robbie McGehee at the 2002 Indy 500

Team TrackForum.com Indy 500 Sponsorship Plan benefiting Brian's Wish

Race fans, it’s time for you to get involved with the Indy 500 and in doing so help support Brian's Wish. Team TrackForum.com is proud to announce this years Indianapolis 500 sponsorship program. The TrackForum.com community will partner with Robby McGehee and Cahill Racing to support Brian’s Wish. The Team TrackForum sponsorship is an independent program created and administered by members of TrackForum.com with a significant portion of the proceeds benefiting Brian's Wish.

Click here for more information on Team TrackForum's Indy 500 program

Please join the many supporters and sponsors who are working hard to get the Brians Wish message to the public and join Team TrackForum today.

Currently the sponsor kit will contain the following:

(1) Robby McGehee/Brian’s Wish T-Shirt
(2) Small Brian’s Wish stickers
(2) Large Brian’s Wish stickers
(1) Certificate of Sponsorship
(1) Discount from Artemis Images to include a Robby McGehee autographed photo

Stay tuned, as additions to this package will be made in the upcoming weeks. 

 


 

TELEVISION ALERT:
Lou Gehrig's Disease featured on CBS sitcom "Becker"

Monday, March 18th, "Becker" takes on Lou Gehrig's Disease in a Special Episode.

Television's crankiest caregiver will take on the complexities of treating an ALS patient in a special episode of the popular CBS sitcom Becker airing March 18. Producer Russ Woody was inspired to write the ALS episode after experiencing first-hand the challenges faced by someone living with ALS. Woody's dad, Claude, was diagnosed with ALS last year.

The episode, titled "Talking Points," features veteran television and film actor Tom Poston as an ALS patient who has lost the ability to speak, known as "bulbar onset." The man is brought to his daughter to see Dr. Becker (Ted Danson), who sets out to help him acquire a computer device that will help him communicate.

The show will direct viewers to The ALS Association at the End of the Episode in a notable effort to help raise awareness of the fight against ALS.

Please pass the word along!

Also, on Sunday, March 17, CBS Sunday Morning's Cover Story at 9:00 AM titled "Right to Die" will feature 2 ALS patients.

 


A note from Brian's Mother . . .       2/20/02

Click here to go to this TrackForum thread

Dear Friends,

I just wanted each one of you to be aware of how much you are loved for what you have given to my son, Brian.

He is such a special young man... always has been.

Brian has fought this disease with such courage that it just amazes me. Oh, he's had his "down" days to be sure but he has never taken the attitude that he was defeated. This ALS is such a horrible disease. It deeply and profoundly affects not only Brian but his entire family and all those who have loved Brian throughout the years.

We did not want him to have to go to St. Vincent Hospice. We desperately wanted to be able to care for him at home until the end but it eventually became painfully apparent to us that we just could not provide for him the level of care he required.

When he first was admitted to the hospice in-patent unit it took a while for all of us to adjust to the new environment and new routine. Brian was very quiet, resistant to the staff but we understood. He just wasn't interested in ANYTHING anymore. It was shortly before Christmas and it seemed as if there was just nothing anyone could do for him, or no gift we could get him, that would make him happy and bring a smile to his face.

But then he was given the best gift anyone could have given to him.

What was that gift?

It was YOU!

Each and every one of you!

Of course he loved having the opportunity to talk racing with the many drivers, crew members and owners who gave so generously of their time to come visit him. He loved all the race memorabilia that was given to him. His room truly does look like a race museum! But what really touched his heart and brought back his beautiful smile was YOU... the average race fan.

He just cannot get over the fact that so many "strangers" really care about him. That you have given to him a part of your hearts is a gift for which none of us will ever be able to adequately express. You consider him "family" but we all want each one of you to know that YOU are now part of OUR family.

Since you have been involved in his life he is once again smiling, is interested in something and feels that he is making some positive contribution. He knows there is nothing anyone can do for him but it is his deepest desire that someday they find a cure for this terrible disease. For some reason ALS has always had trouble getting much attention from the general public or the media and does not seem to generate much passion that leads to research money... at least not until it affects someone YOU know.

This is why the gift you have given to him is so precious... and priceless... to both Brian and his family.

After visiting with Brian a couple of weeks ago I commented that the one word I would use to describe him now is contented... and that, my dear friends, is all we could possibly hope for at this stage of his journey.

So, from a Mother's heart, I say thank you for what you have given to our son and for what you have given to his family. We will have many happy moments to remember thanks to our Track Forum and Indy Racing Family.

You are loved,

Mary Ann


Star studded BRIAN'S WISH Runoff's
at RACERS Karting Center raises $2,000 . . .      2/19/2002

Tuesday night's Brian's Wish Fundraiser at RACERS Karting Center in Indianapolis' Union Station was a resounding success with $2,000 raised for Brian's Wish . . .

"Smoke Johnson" (Tony Stewart) & Brian's Family . . .

Tony Stewart and some of Brian's Family at the Racers Fundraiser

Some of those attending included PDM driver Tyce Carlson along with former IRL driver Scott Harrington, RACERS hot shoe Mandi Elliott and a handful of others.

Surprise attendee's included Smoke Johnson (aka Tony Stewart) and Danny "The Dude" Lasoski who took time away from Stewart's busy NASCAR schedule and flew in from Charlotte to participate.

Thanks to donations from those attending and a significant contribution of 50% of the proceeds by Racers, $1,000 was raised for Brian's Wish.

Tony Stewart generously matched the funds raised for a total presented to Brian's Wish of $2,000.

The night is one that Brian's family will never forget. After the presentations Tony took pictures with Brian's family and spent extra time with them with a number of laughs coming from their corner table.

Local media, including WIBC, FOX 59, Channel 13 and Channel 6, promoted and covered the event with Channel 6 in Indianapolis doing an interview about Brian's Wish with Tony Stewart that was aired during 11 p.m. news.

WHEN
Tuesday February 19th 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

WHERE
RACERS European-Style Go-Kart Racing at Union Station, 302 S. Meridian St., Downtown Indianapolis

For More Information:
www.brianswish.com
www.tracksidelive.net
www.trackforum.com
www.racerskarting.com

 


Thank you from Brian's Family . . .       1/27/02

Click here to go to this TrackForum thread

Dear Friends of Brian's Wish,

To coin a phrase, there are angels among us - all of you involved with Brian’s care and Brian’s Wish.

Until recently Brian’s family had been responsible for a lot of Brian’s care. Even though we didn’t want to give it up, it became evident that we could not continue. We felt we were letting Brian down somehow. However since he has been at a hospice facility, we are seeing smiles that we have not seen for a long time. He is receiving excellent care, warmth and commitment on a daily basis.

Barb found out that Brian has always been a great race fan and has involved the racing community to help cheer him up, and boy, have you done that! What all of you have achieved we would not have been able to do — putting a smile back on Brian’s face, helping Brian accomplish his dream of a cure for ALS.

Until all of you came into our lives, we saw and felt only devastation and an intense sadness. For the first time we now have a reason to feel that something good could come out of Brian having ALS.

We have always known that our Brian is a very special person. We now know that he has attracted incredibly special people who have chosen to help fight this battle.

We, Brian’s family, are deeply moved and most grateful to all of you ---- our angels. 

Thank You!


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