Lauren Hill Lives Out Basketball Dreams Despite Terminal Cancer
November 3rd, 2014 by Justin Thomas
Every so often we witness a story that gives us a reason to believe and a reason to stand up for our fellow humans, and can remind us why we love sports the way we do.
This story lives through 18-year-old Mount St. Joseph’s student, Lauren Hill. Lauren has a special dream, a dream to play college basketball. As she puts it, “I’ve just always wanted to step out onto a college court, looking down at my shoes stepping out on that wooden floor, and feeling the vibration of the crowd. It’s just what I’ve dreamed.”
That dream became impossibly difficult after Lauren was diagnosed with brain cancer. Her tumor is inoperable.
Mount St. Joseph’s and the nation quickly stepped in to help make this college basketball dream possible for the girl who was recently given until December to live.
“There’s two things she wanted from us, and that was to be a college student and play in a college basketball game,” Head Coach Dan Benjamin said. “My real role and responsibility is to make her achieve this goal of hers and help her complete the mission.”
To help Lauren complete her mission, Mount St. Joseph’s moved their first game of the season, which was scheduled to take place at the end of November, up to this past weekend, giving Lauren the opportunity to play.
Even as Lauren continues to lose feeling in her body, fights dizzy spells, and can not move without earplugs in to stabilize herself, she realized that as she fights she can serve a higher purpose.
“Pediatric cancer…is underfunded. And I remember being in an appointment and my doctor saying that pediatric brain cancer needed a face,” Lauren said.
Lauren now knows that during her battle, she can play this game and become that face that many children in America so desperately need.
As the game approached, Mount St. Joseph’s realized her D-3 arena wasn’t enough for the scale of this event. They borrowed Xavier University’s 10,000-seat arena for the game. It sold out in under an hour.
The game couldn’t have been more perfect for Lauren, as she scored 4 points and her team won in front of the sea of signs saying “Never Give Up” and “Play for #22.”
Lauren continues to live life to the best of her ability and make a difference in what little time she has left.
Never give up, Lauren, and know that we all play for #22.