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this Breast Can­cer Aware­ness Month, she’s shar­ing the story of how she’s got­ten to this point.

“You’re fight­ing,” she said. “Keep your head down. Pray a lot. En­joy ev­ery little mo­ment, even when you don’t feel good, be­cause you don’t know …”

Hall tends to be pri­vate. Her hus­band, Der­rick, is the pub­lic fig­ure, but “hav­ing been through it,” he said, “we feel like it’s our re­spon­si­bil­ity to help as many peo­ple as we can and drive aware­ness.”

Count the eight women you’re clos­est to, phys­i­cally or emo­tion­ally. Chances are one of them will de­velop breast can­cer in their lives. When it hap­pens, they’re not go­ing to need foot­ball play­ers in pink cleats. They’re go­ing to need in­for­ma­tion.

Amy Hall talks about specifics, us­ing words like “triple-neg­a­tive” and “nee­dle biopsy” and “bi­lat­eral mas­tec­tomy.” She and her hus­band are ex­perts in a sub­ject no one wants to know about.

She also talks about blood.

The type of can­cer she had, Der­rick Hall said, “ended up be­ing one of the worst di­ag­noses … it re­quires very ag­gres­sive treat­ment.”

It’s so de­struc­tive that it kills the pa­tient along with the can­cer. The goal, of course, is to take out the dis­ease first. But there are no guar­an­tees.

One risk in­volves white and red blood cells, if a pa­tient’s counts drop too low, it can be fa­tal. Amy Hall hit this point three times.

“That’s how you know the chemo’s work­ing, it’s attacking your healthy cells, and so some­times you get to that danger zone, and they have to give you a trans­fu­sion,” she said. “I had three.

“Three peo­ple saved my life, just by giv­ing their blood to me. I get teary think­ing about that. I am so thank­ful to all the peo­ple who do­nate blood. You don’t real­ize how many peo­ple that are deal­ing with can­cer who de­pend on that.”

The Halls said they re­lied heav­ily on faith.

“Re­gard­less of af­fil­i­a­tion or de­nom­i­na­tion,” Der­rick Hall said, “you feel closer to God and oth­ers, and what we both heard from ev­ery­one was that they’re pray­ing for you. And you hear it, and when you say that or hear it be­fore you’re di­ag­nosed, it doesn’t have the same mean­ing.

“You re­ally feel the prayer."

He would know, hav­ing sur­vived prostate can­cer him­self six years ago.

Amy Hall said she would have ran­dom en­coun­ters that she be­came con­vinced were di­vine.

“I would tell my kids, ‘This wasn’t just a co­in­ci­dence,’” she said.

“I had a woman say, ‘I have triple-neg­a­tive breast can­cer, too.’ It was just a stranger, and it came right at a time where I was feel­ing ner­vous, my blood­cell count was low, I was scared. And I feel like ev­ery time I had those little blips in the road, some­thing would hap­pen, and I would say, ‘It’s all those prayers.’”

One ran­dom act grabbed head­lines. Di­a­mond­backs left-han­der Rob­bie Ray held up a sign for Amy Hall at the Al­lS­tar Game. The Halls had no idea it was com­ing and said they were moved to tears by the gesture when they saw it on TV along with the rest of the na­tion.

“Com­pletely broke down,” Der­rick Hall said. “Started bawl­ing.”

As she’s got­ten bet­ter, Amy Hall said she has a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion for mun­dane things, like driv­ing her daugh­ter to school and making her son’s bed in his dorm room — she wasn’t able to help move him in as a fresh­man.

“That was awesome,” she said. “it’s the little day-to-day things that you don’t think mean any­thing in your life, but those are the things that mean the most.”

There’s an­other el­e­ment, “Mama Strong.” It was coined by her daugh­ter and printed onto pink wrist­bands.

It cap­tured the fi­nal se­cret to Amy Hall’s re­silience.

“I can’t be­lieve you never com­plain,” her hus­band would say.

She al­ways replied the same way: “Not an op­tion.”


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