Lauren Hill Dies – She’s Remembered For Fighting Cancer To Play College Basketball

kim kardashian

Lauren Hill, a college basketball player diagnosed with cancer, died on Friday. According to www.layup4lauren.org, it was determined on 11/20/13 that the 19-year-old had DIPG, a form of brain cancer. The Cure Starts Now Foundation, an organization Hill heavily supported, defined DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Disorder Glioma) as a disease that affects the pons portion of the brainstem. This results in the nervous system not being able to function at all.

Despite the diagnosis, Hill continued to play basketball until the very end. She attended the Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was a spokeswoman, fundraiser, and advocate for other children who suffer from brain cancer through The Cure Starts Now Foundation. The Cincinnati Enquirer interviewed the executive director and co-founder of the foundation, Brooke Desserich, and she stated that the organization expects to give researchers a check for at least $2.5 million.

On November 2, 2014, Hill received an opportunity of a lifetime to play with her team in Xavier University’s stadium, Cintas Center. An audience of 10,250 people attended and the game was broadcasted on television.


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Mount St. Joseph University defeated Hiram College 66-55 and Hill scored the first and last points of the game. The NCCA allowed the match to be scheduled earlier because her health was gradually failing.

The back of her jersey is number 22 and that number became a symbol across the country. A challenge called Club 22 was inspired by Hill’s fight against cancer. People are encouraged to donate to The Cure Starts Now Foundation in amounts that end in 22 such as $22 or $122 to honor Hill.

Her will to never give up inspired professional athletes. Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton and offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth participated in the Layup4Lauren challenge. The football players had to spin around five times and score a layup with their non-dominant hand.

The Lions coach Dan Benjamin stated that Hill was committed to playing for Mount in October of 2013 and told the team personnel that she was diagnosed with the disease 49 days after joining the squad.

“The two biggest things we wanted to accomplish are team and team chemistry, and Lauren helped us do that,” Benjamin said. “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.”

Athletes used their social media accounts to support Hill as well. Eric LeGrand, a former Rutgers’ University football player who is paralyzed, posted on Twitter “RIP Lauren Hill.”

“You are simply and truly “AMAZING” Lauren Hill!!! Thank you for inspiring me and I’ll try my best to match you! Congrats on your game. … You’re Awesome!!!” Cleveland Cavaliers’ player LeBron James posted on Instagram.

Dr. Mariko Dewire, Lauren’s physician, explained to the Cincinnati Enquirer the suffering she battled while playing in basketball games. Blaring sounds interrupted her balance and bright lights affected her to the point that she had sunglasses and earplugs to minimize the pain.

Other symptoms of DIPG are the inability to close the eyelids completely, dropping one side of the face, and difficulty chewing and swallowing.

“I don’t want people to say I lost, or I gave up,” Hill told The Enquirer in December.

Her resolve and pride was strong and she did want people to think she lost to her illness.

“I don’t want that,” she stated. “I want: She kicked DIPG’s butt.”

Mount Saint Joseph University had a prayer service for Hill on Campus Friday. A public service memorial will take place at Xavier University’ Cintas Center on Monday at 7 p.m.

 

 

Tom Uhlman/AP Photo

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