Special to the Atlantic News
Atlantic News, Friday, March 16, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
HAMPTON -- Brooke Rallis of Hampton recently joined Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce, John Nocera and Kobe Bryant at center court of the TD Banknorth Garden prior to a home game between the Boston Celtics vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.
Rallis was honored by the Boston Celtics and the Massachusetts State Lottery as a local hero, as part of the team's "Heroes Among Us" program.
Last year, Brooke took what she thought was an uneventful fall while on her summer job. That fall resulted in a torn vein in her neck, and by day's end she was in the ICU on a ventilator, paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors delivered the harsh prognosis that Brooke, a student at Winnacunnet High School, would never move again.
Courageously, she refused to accept this diagnosis. Against all odds, three months after the fall, Brooke shed the ventilator, and began to walk again with the aid of a walker.
As one of only seven people to have overcome such an extreme spinal injury, Brooke has dedicated her life to inspire others as the power of faith, courage, and tenacity.
The "Heroes Among Us" award is presented to an individual or individuals who, through their unique commitment and humanitarian spirit, have made exceptional and lasting contributions to our community.
At each home game since the program's inception, the Celtics and their fans have saluted the exemplary efforts of these citizens during a special in-game presentation on the team's legendary parquet floor. To date, more than 350 individuals have received the "Heroes Among Us" Award. For more about the program, click on the "Community" link at www.celtics.com.