comScore Basketball Player Lauren Hill Passes Away at 19 | The Mary Sue

Basketball Player, Fundraiser, and Cancer Awareness Supporter Lauren Hill Passes Away at 19

19-year-old Lauren Hill, who became the subject of national admiration last year for pursuing her dream of playing college basketball despite being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor shortly after her 18th birthday, passed away around midnight last night.

Lauren was slated to play as a forward for Mount St. Joseph’s basketball team before being diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (a rare form of incurable cancer that’s typically seen in children ages 4-9); she went on to play in St. Joseph’s season opener last November, scoring the first and last baskets in front of a crowd of 10,250 and raising  $70,000 for cancer research.

At the time, Lauren told reporters

It was a dream come true to play on the college court. And it was so thrilling to get there and be able to put my foot down and feel the roar of the crowd and the vibrations of the floor boards and I love it so much.

I’m spreading awareness and also teaching people how to live in the moment because the next moment’s not promised. Anything can happen at any given moment. What matters is right now.

Especially after this kind of diagnosis, your perspective on life and what you value changes.

The teen helped raise $1.5 million in total for cancer research through her organization The Cure Starts Now, and advocated for a greater awareness of DIPG:

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.

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.

National Collegiate Athletic Association Mark Brown said of Lauren’s efforts,

Lauren Hill’s bravery, enthusiasm and strength were an inspiration not only to those who knew her best but also to the millions of people she touched around the world by sharing her story.

(via USAToday and WLWT5)

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