Hall reaches graduation goal

Tavia Green

Brooke Hall’s goal was to graduate from Western. Though diagnosed with terminal cancer in the spring of 2002, Hall perservered through numerous treatments and surgeries to reach her goal. Though weak and tired at times, Hall continued pursuing her education.

Last spring she was hospitalized in Louisville’s Norton Hospital days before graduation.

She didn’t let that stop her from accomplishing what she had set out to do.

Though she had little strength and had rarely left her hospital bed, Hall stood long enough to change from her hospital gown to an outfit she had waited to wear for a long time – a black graduation cap and gown.

She was wheeled to the hospital lobby where President Gary Ransdell along with the vice president of the hospital, and about 40 family members and friends awaited, and a quick graduation ceremony took place.

Hall flashed her unforgettable smile as she accepted her bachelors degree in general studies. Then she took a few pictures and returned to her hospital bed, where she rested.

Her aunt Geniece Germanis said Hall was satisfied.

Davy Rupsch, a Henderson senior and one of Hall’s best friends, said, “It was a very emotional time. Above all things, we were so happy and proud of her. She set her mind on achieving that goal. She asked God for help and he helped her do it.”

Academic adviser Bethany Smith said the most amazing thing about Hall was that she kept going and never gave up.

“Brooke wanted her degree more than anything. She went to school for the right reason. The most amazing thing was she kept going when she felt awful. Students who feel good don’t even want to get out of bed. Brooke did it for Brooke,” Smith said.

Germanis said that Hall was like superwoman. Even with cancer she had taken a full schedule of classes, served as an RA and still upheld her extracurricular obligations.

Throughout her life, Hall’s faith and passion for Christ kept those around her strong.

“Her faith in God was very important to her and she conveyed it to all of us. She knew that her dying was part of God’s overall plan and she was okay with that,” Rupsch said.

Germanis said that Hall was her spiritual adviser.

“She picked me up when I was down. If I ever had a problem we’d talk about it and she’d direct me to the bible.” Germanis said.

Hall kept the scripture found at 2 Timothy 4:7 close to her heart. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have the faith.”

Her positive outlook on life touched the hearts of those she met.

Owensboro sophomore Missy Jewell, who was one of Hall’s residents in Northeast Hall last fall, said that she was an inspiration to her.

“She was like a real mom to us. She treated us like we really were her kids,” Jewell said.

Jewell said Hall always taught them that everything happens for a reason.

“She never felt that bad things were punishment from God,” Jewell said.

Amber Douthit, a Henderson senior and one of Hall’s best friends, said, “Brooke is the strongest person I ever had the privilege of knowing. Among many things, she taught me to never take life for granted and to trust without knowing. Her faith, her spirit and her life will always be a part of me.”

Along with her warm, caring personality one thing that left an impression on those who encounterd Hall was her smile.

“One thing you rarely saw was Brooke without a huge smile on her face,” Rupsch said.

She had what Germanis described as an innocent heart. She was graceful, merciful and had happiness about her that those who encountered her felt.

“She just glowed,” Germanis said.

Even as the cancer took its course Hall remained in good spirits. She continued fighting her battle and she was not alone. Her family and friends took turns sitting by her bedside ever night.

Brooke M. Hall died May 27 in the comfort of her home with her family by her side.

“She was strong till the end,” Rupsch said.

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