I hope that they keep the video up about this girl’s story. Great quote – “Dying is easy, the least of us will manage that. Living well, that’s the trick.” Original article found here. Such an inspiration to keep living regardless of how bad of a hand we are dealt.
Lauren Hill touched a nation with her desire to play for Mount St. Joseph’s women’s basketball team, even as she battled an inoperable brain tumor.
Her resolve, spirit and courage were celebrated Nov. 2 when she realized her dream at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. Cheered on by a sold-out crowd of 10,250 and a television audience, Hill scored the first and last basket of the Mount’s 66-55 victory over Hiram College.
She passed away Friday at the age of 19.
Mount St. Joseph’s will hold a celebration and prayer service on its campus to honor her.
“We are forever grateful to have had Lauren grace our campus with her smile and determined spirit,” said Mount St. Joe president Tony Aretz.
Hill death was acknowledged by several celebrities, including LeBron James, who wrote a series of tweets.
The Indiana native said at the game her goal was is to find a cure for cancer. Hill was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma shortly after her 18th birthday. The rare form of brain cancer typically affects young children ages 4 to 9.
“When I was diagnosed I remember kind of feeling lonely because nobody understood. And now that more people know about this story and the awareness of DIPG. I’m so happy that people know about it now and that we can get some research going and hopefully find that home run cure for cancer,” Lauren said.
“And even though I’m probably not going to be around to see it, it’s going to help a lot of people. And that’s why we need to keep staying with this and not end it with this game, and keep supporting research.”
An announced $40,000 was raised the day of the game for The Cure Starts Now Foundation and pediatric cancer research. Overall, her nonprofit foundation has helped to raise more than $1.5 million for cancer research.
“Through Lauren’s fundraising and advocacy efforts, she not only became a spotlight on the lack of funding for cancer research, but she most certainly has become a beacon guiding researchers for years to come,” The Cure Starts Now co-founder Brooke Desserich said.
Dr. Mariko DeWire, Lauren’s physician at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, said fundraising has allowed doctors to study DIPG more closely in the last five years. The condition is incurable.
DeWire explained what HIll endured physically at the basketball game – that loud noises affected her balance and bright lights bothered her. The forward wore sunglasses and headphones on the bench and earplugs throughout. None of it stopped her from having a memorable day in the short time she played, or gracefully accepting a halftime award from legendary Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt.
“As you can see, Lauren is strong. She was going to rock it, and she did,” Dr. DeWine said. “She did more than rock it.”
The NCAA granted an exemption for the game to be played ahead of schedule so she could participate. It was an emotional day for Lions coach Dan Benjamin, who said Hill committed to the Mount in October of 2013 and told the staff 49 days later that she had the tumor.
Coach and player bonded instantly, and then the team followed suit.
“The two biggest thing we wanted to accomplish is team and team chemistry, and Lauren helped us do that. But along the way she’s made a lot of our girls become very mature, which is apparent. That’s what you always want to do. You want your kids to understand what life’s about,” Benjamin said.
“And here instead of me teaching them, it was Lauren teaching them. She’s made a great impact on these young ladies. I think they’re going to remember this life lesson forever and hopefully they carry it out and help her carry the mission in their own lives.”