Davis High students, faculty raise money to send ill secretary to Hawaii

Posted at 7:25 PM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-25 21:25:09-04

KAYSVILLE, Utah – A beloved secretary at Davis High School was recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, but thanks to her second family, she’s able to check off a bucket list wish – a trip to Hawaii.

For the past 19 years, Debbie Hall has touched many lives at Davis High as a secretary at the school’s counseling and registrar department. Now, students and faculty are showing their support as she faces the biggest challenge of her life.

When students need an answer, their go-to person is Debbie Hall.

“She is the heart and soul of our counseling department,” said Robyn Lawson, Davis High Counselor.

Hall’s days at her second home are winding down sooner than she planned after last month’s diagnosis.  Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS, makes it difficult for people to speak, eat, move and breathe.

Because mine started in the voice, throat and lungs, it tends to be a little more aggressive, Hall said.

Doctors have given Hall less than a year to live and her plans are to make every moment count.

“Family time is really important,” Hall said.

Her colleagues have set up a Go Fund Me page so she can check off a bucket list item: a trip to Hawaii.

“We know how much her kids and her husband, her grandkids, they are the center of her life. We wanted to give them something so they could create a lasting memory together,” Lawson said.

The response has been overwhelming. Hundreds of students, former students, parents and teachers have shared words of encouragement and gratitude for the role she’s played in their lives.

So far, they’ve raised $15,000. It’s a touching gesture Hall will always cherish.

“We’re going to be able to create some great family memories,” Hall said.

Lawson said the faculty and students are sad to see Hall leave the school.

“…But I’m so lucky to have had her as an example in my life,” Lawson said.

Hall, her husband and parents will leave for Hawaii the week after Thanksgiving. Then in December she'll spend a week with her grandchildren at Disneyland.