Girl who died from rare 'brain-eating amoeba' remembered and celebrated

OLATHE, Kan. - Family and friends said goodbye to 9-year-old Hally Yust of Spring Hill. She died last week after she contracted a rare brain-eating infection.

The family didn't call it a funeral; they called it a celebration of Hally's life.

Although they expected tears for the young girl, they expected even more love and memories.

"That's what I'm looking for. You need to go home and hug your family, hug your kids and do memories,"  Hally's father Shon Yust said.

Macy Yust, Hally's sister, explained, "She was my best friend, my sister, I can't imagine life without her."

Hally contracted an infection caused by an amoeba found in freshwater. It happened in a place where she spent much of her time water skiing.

"The truth of the matter, she didn't love water skiing. She loved being with her friends in the water, the water skiing was just a bi-product of who she was," her dad said.

Hally, above all sports, loved to play basketball.

"A couple of nights she was out until past 11 and just watching her out there just hoop after hoop after hoop," Hally's brother Parker said. "Everything she did, she did to the fullest."

That's exactly what this family wants others to do.

"Getting away from the fear of water, it's not about that. It's not about the fear of water. It's about living life to its fullest," Shon said.

Now, other girls will be able to receive a scholarship that's been created in Hally's name with the Kansas State University women's basketball program.

The head coach surprised the family at the church Monday with a jersey with Hally's nickname "Hally Bug" printed on the back.

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