Dennis Hale, ALABAMA/MICHIGAN Game
Another successful adventure for an ALS patient thanks to Team Gleason and The Gleason Initiative Foundation supporters!
We got this email from Dennis’ step-son, AJ Roiss.
“Dear Mr. Gleason:
I have had many influences in my life, but by far the biggest two have been my step-Dad Dennis, and my Grandma Jackson. Both Michigan Alumni, they raised me as a Michigan man, even though for economic reasons I graduated from Rollins College, in Florida. While my grandmother has always been a big part of my life, Dennis came into my life when I was about 8 years old, when he and my mother started dating. From the first day he met me, Dennis treated me like I was his own son. He taught me how to throw a football, and play baseball. We took many trips to the old Tiger Stadium, and Wrigley field, but what we share the most is that we bleed Michigan Maze and Blue. Every Saturday we would live and die with our beloved Wolverines. Dennis was and is the single most important influence in my life, even today some ten years after he and my mother divorced.
Last November, while my brother Zak, Dennis, and I were all in Michigan to see the Michigan Illinois football game, Dennis told us that he had ALS. This was a stunning blow and unexpected announcement, even more breathtaking was learning he has somewhere between 2-5 years to live. I see his decline each time I see him, which is about once a month. He has a great deal of trouble walking already, and can’t even do something as simple as buttoning his top button anymore.
Grandma and Dennis are and always will be my heroes. They have had an amazing impact on my life, and are the two people I have had that I always felt really listened to me, and took my well being very personally. They were there to see the big and little accomplishments in my life. They were there for my graduations from high school and college, my football and baseball games, and my high school prom. They never missed my birthday, and I always felt better after I got off the phone with them. I lost one a year ago and I’m losing the other one now, slowly and horrendously.
Next year’s college football season will kick off in Dallas with Michigan and Alabama, and our family will be very excited and divided during that game. My wife Missy’s Dad graduated from the University of Alabama and while she’s always on my side no matter what, she’ll be wearing her “Roll Tide” shirt to honor his memory. He passed away 10 years ago after fighting his own battle with a long illness. We don’t have a great deal of expendable cash with the upcoming fight we will have with ALS, and I was hoping that you could help me do something great for my Dad, Dennis. It would mean the world if you would be willing to assist us with six handicap accessible tickets to that game. Being able to enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity, maybe Dennis’ last opportunity, would mean more than words could ever express. I’ve included a photo that was taken the weekend my Dad told me that all of our lives were about to change. After the many trips and ballgames he’s taken me to, I’d give anything to be able to take him to to one. Thank you for your consideration, it’s much appreciated!
Abraham J. Roiss”
Then got this email from AJ’s wife, Missy:
“I’ve contacted the following people:
The President of the UofM Alumni Association – I received a polite brush-off via email
The President of the UofM Athletic Association – No response received
A letter to Jerry Jones via Snail Mail – No response received
I found a general email for ticket sales for the Dallas Cowboys and reached out to them – Received a polite brush-off with the public phone number to the Dallas Cowboys Association
We are sort of kind of at our wit’s end. I’ve tried to think of anything that may be helpful and am down to offering to tattoo someone’s face on my body (maybe Jerry Jones himself) or standing in the road with a sandwich board. I kid of course but am not sure what else to do, and if someone offered me tickets in exchange for a weird tattoo of their face, I can’t say I would decline! We’ve continued to look on line and purchasing any tickets is not an option, we can’t even figure out what seats are ADA.
Please let me know if you have any ideas at all, it would be greatly appreciated!
Abraham’s wife/Dennis’ daughter-in-law
Team Gleason was eager to help!
With the help of Doug Johnson of Johnson Rice in New Orleans, we were able to secure 6 ADA tickets to the Alabama / Michigan game for Dennis and his family.
The trip was a success, even for the Michigan fans of the group.
We’re psyched that they got to enjoy this game together. We love to hear about ALS patients that are surrounded by love.
We wish the whole family the best.
– Team Gleason
And sounds like they had a great time:
Wow! I just can’t thank you enough! Not only did you allow me to take my dad to a big game, like he has done for all these years, but those were the best seats in the house! Just amazing! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You haven’t heard the last from me, I will pay this forward.
On may 13th we got the news from AJ that his dad, Dennis passed away. See below:
After a long fight with ALS Dennis Allen Hale passed away peacefully in his sleep at 3:46am EST on May 13th. He was at his son Abraham’s home in Orlando, FL. He was 59.
He was a great father to his sons Zachary and Abraham, and a loyal member of the Crossing Church in Las Vegas, NV. He excelled at the work place and was among the elite level of executives at CORT Trade Show & Event Furnishings where he worked for the last ten years, as well as Amtrak where he worked for almost twenty years.
He loved baseball, a good Chicago hotdog, and his family and he most especially loved Jesus. He spent his last day watching the Cubs win with his son Abraham, which was perfect.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you donate to the following charities that were instrumental in his care, joy, and comfort.
ALS Association of Florida
On the same day we posted a blog about how AJ and his family “paid it forward” by donating cubs tickets to us to give to other patients. The ALS community is one of the strongest, most loving communities around.