After Inspiring the World With Her Fight Against Rare Brain Cancer, Lauren Hill Has Died

National   Steven Ertelt   Apr 10, 2015   |   8:55AM    Indianapolis, IN

Lauren Hill was an inspiration to millions of people around the world with her life-affirming fight against a rare form of brain cancer. Hill,a study in contrast compared to those who push for assisted suicide in the wake of Brittany Maynard’s death, ultimately raised millions for cancer research as the basketball player played her way into our hearts.

Sadly, Hill has succumbed to the effects of the cancer and has passed away.

In December 2014, LifeNews reported that Lauren Hill, the freshman at Mt. Joseph College with terminal cancer, entered hospice care. Hill had a very deadly form of brain cancer known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), which is a pediatric cancer found at the base of the brain. Unfortunately, less than 10% of DIPG children will live longer than 18 months from diagnosis. Doctors told Hill that she wouldn’t live to see 2015; however, she is still alive and battling the disease.

Lauren Hill’s motto was “Never Give Up.” She hoped to inspire kids suffering from her deadly brain cancer to follow her message. The Cure Starts Now announced Lauren Hill’s passing early Friday morning and now all of us have lost a real pro-life hero. Hill leaves her loving parents Brent and Lisa, brother Nathan and sister Erin — they and her friends and family were always by her side.

“Spreading awareness has been my goal throughout this whole thing,” she said last fall. “I wanted to help kids because I feel so terrible that this is happening to a lot of people and nobody knows about it.

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“I just can’t believe the impact this is going to have and I’m really proud of how far it’s come and how many people we’re going to help and how much funds this is going to raise and how much awareness for pediatric cancer, because it needs it.”

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Lauren became a worldwide superstar last fall after she participated in a college basketball game despite her deteriorating health. She attended the Division III college basketball games and played in four of their first eight games, making five layups while on court. After the game, Lauren’s family said, “She stepped onto the court one last time in her college career and again fought the odds and made a basket that brought everyone in the gym to their feet.”

According to MSN News, Lauren has raised over $1.5 million for cancer research and her family has recently announced they’ve set a new goal to raise $2.2 million.

In March, Lauren appeared on the ABC talk show, The View alongside her mother, Lisa, to raise money for The Cure Starts Now Foundation. Lauren said, “It’s kind of hard to just focus on you and not on others. I just kept thinking about all of these other kids who have nothing else to do and their families being told that they have nothing else… and I have to be that voice.”

The Cure Starts Now Foundation is promoting a new campaign in Lauren’s honor called “Club 22.” The “22” comes from Lauren’s basketball jersey number.

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Here’s more on how Lauren was such an inspiration:

Before she ever took the court last fall, Hill created a national sensation to rival the ALS  Ice Bucket Challenge. It started when she challenged Andy Dalton and Andrew Whitworth of the Bengals and some basketball notables  to spin five times and shoot a layup with their non-dominant hand. The idea was to imitate her handicaps on the court. The LayupForLauren challenge spread across the Tri-State and the country. Thousands of famous athletes like the Harlem Globetrotters, entertainers, college and high school teams, non-athletes and admirers joined in and donated to her cause.

It was really just child’s play, though, compared to the ailments she overcame to play, even for just a few moments.

By the time the Mount was set to open the season, Hill’s story had spread across the Internet, and the first game drew a sellout crowd of 10,250 to Xavier’s Cintas Center . Nearly 3,000 came from Lawrenceburg to watch their favorite daughter.

The greatest coach in women’s basketball history, retired Tennessee legend Pat Summitt, was there to present Hill a college basketball courage award in her name. Summitt, in early stages of Alzheimer’s, arranged for friends to drive her four hours from Knoxville for Hill’s first game.

What happened was one of the most exciting moments in Cincinnati sports history. No. 22 made a layup on the first play and the crowd erupted.  In the last minute, the crowd chanted, “We want Lauren,” and coach Dan Benjamin put her back in the game.

Hill made another layup, and her legend was secured.

“This game was amazing and it was amazing in every way. It’s just a dream come true to play on the college level,” Hill said at a news conference afterward. “It was great to just be able to put my foot down and feel the crowd through the vibrations in the floor boards.

“I just wanted to play. I just love it so much. I love basketball,” she said.

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