Injury, illness couldn’t stop these two alumni
Editor’s note: This story is reprinted from the May issue of GCU Magazine. To view the digital version of the magazine, click here.
When a knee injury ended Bo Hall’s dream of playing linebacker for the University of Arizona, he switched to baseball — and a few years later was drafted by the San Francisco Giants after a stellar career at what was then Grand Canyon College.
When he didn’t make it to the major leagues, he once again turned a setback into a positive step. He became the baseball coach at Cochise College, where he had played before transferring to Grand Canyon, and in 1988 his team won the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference championship and finished third in the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series.
Four years later, there was another important development: Hall, who had earned degrees in Physical Education and U.S. History from Grand Canyon, gave up coaching baseball to become Cochise’s athletic director and dean of students. But his coaching exploits haven’t been forgotten. He was inducted into the ACCAC Hall of Fame last summer and will be enshrined in the National Junior College Coaches Hall of Fame in late May.
Hall’s legacy has rubbed off on his family. His oldest son, Mark, is playing in the Boston Red Sox organization; his middle son, Ladd, was drafted four times by major league teams; and his grandson, Darick, is in the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor league system.
Matt Cavallo’s life changed, to put it mildly, when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis shortly after his 28th birthday.
His outlook on life, however, didn’t. Rather than wallow, he went to work and has spent nearly 15 years working as an advocate to improve health care outcomes and support communities and much more nationally for MS patients. He has used a combination of speaking engagements and writing (his own blog and two books) while offering his knowledge and ideas to health care providers, patients and their families dealing with chronic diseases.
He also returned to school and earned a Master of Science in Public Health degree from Grand Canyon University in 2012. He’s chronicled his journeys with M.S. in his memoir, “The Dog Story: A Journey into a New Life with Multiple Sclerosis” and “7 Steps to Living Well with a Chronic Illness.”
“Pity and self-wallowing can last forever if you let them,” he said. “There’s almost always a better way forward.”