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 including this: "Until we officially meet again, take care and continue to be that LEADER we all love! #RIPLaurenHill"
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.