I hope that by now you’ve heard about Lauren Hill’s basketball game. “But I don’t watch women’s college ball,” you might be saying. “Why do I care about Lauren Hill’s game?”
Because it was no ordinary basketball game. It was played two weeks earlier than it was originally scheduled, it was moved to a larger arena to seat the demand for over 10,000 seats and still sold out, and it was attended by a handful of basketball celebrities.
Why? Because Lauren Hill is an 19 year old with only months to live.
At age 18, Lauren was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), which is very basically a form of cancer that is rare, is inoperable, and will kill her. But incredibly, Lauren didn’t let her diagnoses and the resulting painful treatment hold her back from her dream to play a college basketball game. An outpouring of support from the local community, her college Mount St. Joseph and the NCAA led to the orchestration of the team’s first game being held early, and for Lauren to be able to take to the court at the very beginning and very end of the game. Lauren said: “I never thought I would play on a college court, put my feet on the floor and feel the vibration of the crowd. This game has been amazing, and everything that happened today was amazing. This is a really good day.”
Lauren scored the first basket of the game within the first 17 seconds, in front of 10,000 cheering fans. After that, both teams gave Lauren a standing ovation as she took the bench; the side effects of the medication treating her tumor prevented her from playing much of the game. But Lauren was able to return in the last 30 seconds of the game to play again. After missing her first shot, she was rebounded the ball and was able to score again, this time with her right hand. “The first basket was awesome because I was happy I made it on the first try,” Hill said. “But I made the second with my right hand. So the second basket was just as sweet.” That’s because Lauren is right-handed but has been losing strength in the right side of her body.
The result of this spectacular game? $40,000 raised for The Cure Starts Now and an incredible amount of awareness raised for DIPG. “To reach and touch this many people is amazing,” Hill said. “Not many people knew about DIPG before me, and now that they do, we can get research going to cure this cancer. I won’t be around to see that, but it’s going to help so many people. That’s why the support can’t end with this game.”
Let’s learn from Lauren! Support the #1More4Lauren and #Layup4Lauren fundraising campaigns today and donate to important organizations like The Cure Starts Now. Research done on diseases like cancer are making all the difference to families now and in the future. Be grateful for the health that you and your family enjoy today.