Lauren Hill, the terminally ill college student who touched our hearts when she scored the first basket of the NCAA season last year, died Friday.
She was 19 years old.
Hill, who played with the Mount St. Joseph’s women’s basketball team in Cincinnati, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma shortly after she turned 18. And despite battling an inoperable brain tumor, the young woman never lost hope.
“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 once 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.”
Mount St. Joseph’s plans to hold a celebration in honor of Hill.
“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, who urged family and friends to see her efforts through, is doing exactly what she set out to — according to USA Today, her nonprofit foundation has helped to raise more than $1.5 million for cancer research.
“Through Lauren’s fundraising and advocacy efforts, she not only became a spotlight on the lack of funding for cancer research, but she most certainly has become a beacon guiding researchers for years to come,” The Cure Starts Now co-founder Brooke Desserich said.
Our prayers go out to Hill’s family during this difficult time.
You can read more on her story here.
SOURCE: USA Today | VIDEO SOURCE: NDN