Brent Hall

Brent Hall lives his life at full speed. As a professional hydroplane driver, Brent races boats at over 150 mph, achieving a dream he had as a boy growing up on Mercer Island. He was a rookie driver later in life at 36, and has earned national rankings in several different classes of hydroplanes. Brent is focused on going fast on the water — but not too long ago, he had to slow things down in order to focus on cancer treatment.

Brent Hall
Brent Hall

Kidney cancer patient

Brent Hall lives his life at full speed. As a professional hydroplane driver, Brent races boats at over 150 mph, achieving a dream he had as a boy growing up on Mercer Island. He was a rookie driver later in life at 36, and has earned national rankings in several different classes of hydroplanes. Brent is focused on going fast on the water — but not too long ago, he had to slow things down in order to focus on cancer treatment.

In the middle of coaching his son’s undefeated basketball season, as well as running upwards seven miles during a workout, one evening Brent witnessed a large amount of blood in his urine, and immediately scheduled an appointment with his primary care doctor.

In February 2018, the doctor discovered a tumor that was four inches wide and Brent was diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer at age 48. Brent says, “When I look back at when I was diagnosed to when I was treated and how everything turned out, I am extremely grateful beyond belief. Sometimes it feels like it never happened thanks to the great care and concern from the staff at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance!”

Turning to SCCA

Two family members that are physicians recommended that Brent see John L.Gore, MD, MS, a urologist and surgical oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). Brent did, and through the advice of Dr. Gore and the SCCA Kidney Cancer Multispecialty Clinic, he had surgery to remove the tumor. SCCA’s multispecialty clinics involve a team of experts who meet to discuss a patient’s case and determine the best treatment plan.

“SCCA has been amazing and responsive every step of the way,” Brent says, adding that he’s felt supported by everyone from the medical assistants who check his vitals to his care team members.

Brent underwent surgery one month after receiving his diagnosis. He was discharged the next day, leaving with minimal scaring and a determination to get back to 100 percent. “It didn’t matter how bad I felt, I just made sure to keep moving,” he says. His surgery was followed by a combination immunotherapy regimen, which he received over the course of four treatments.

Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation. Treatment plan A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A treatment plan may also include information about how much the treatment is likely to cost and about regular follow-up care after treatment ends.

Back to racing

On July 17, 2018, Brent had a CT scan to check his response to treatment and the results indicated significant reduction in his remaining cancer. The treatment was working. Brent planned to continue single agent immunotherapy with the hope of a complete response. 

Today, Brent is no longer in active treatment and shows no evidence of disease. After a little over one year of immunotherapy under the watchful eyes of John A. Thompson, MD, and his team, Brent has graduated to receiving CT scans every six months to ensure his body continues to show no signs of cancer. 

Now Brent is pursuing his goal to become the first Black driver to be qualified as an Unlimited Hydroplane driver and continues the extremely active lifestyle he enjoyed before his cancer diagnosis, including racing and coaching his son’s basketball team. At the same time, Brent feels he has already won the greatest prize.

"Every day I get to participate in helping 10-year-old Brent Jr. grow into a positive young man with my wife, Elsa, is a blessing."

Computed tomography A procedure that uses a computer linked to an X-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are used to create three-dimensional (3-D) views of tissues and organs. A procedure that uses a computer linked to an X-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create three-dimensional (3-D) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. This scan may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment or find out how well treatment is working. Computed tomography A procedure that uses a computer linked to an X-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are used to create three-dimensional (3-D) views of tissues and organs. A procedure that uses a computer linked to an X-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create three-dimensional (3-D) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. This scan may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment or find out how well treatment is working. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Sign In medicine, a sign is something found during a physical exam or from a laboratory test that shows that a person may have a condition or disease. In medicine, a sign is something found during a physical exam or from a laboratory test that shows that a person may have a condition or disease. Some examples of signs are fever, swelling, skin rash, high blood pressure and high blood glucose.
Brent Hall and his son
Brent Hall and his 10-year-old son