On Cheers of Thanks

I’ve mention the Lauren Hill story here before, but it’s also became a national story than can touch the heart of anyone across the world. In short, Lauren is a college freshman on her college basketball team at Mt. St. Joseph University a small college on Cincinnati’s west side.

During her senior year in high school, doctors diagnosed her with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a rare inoperable brain cancer. Initially given up to two years to live, her prognosis change to only a few months to live, yet she wanted to achieve her goal to play in a college basketball game … and she did … and my eyes shed tears every time I see this.

Although DIPG attacked her brain, it aroused her heart and spirit, so she took it to our hearts. Through her battle and in spite of her weakness, she continues to hold her head high and focusing on others. She is truly an example for everyone in life, let alone someone who taken on the role of living, playing, and speaking for all those with pediatric brain cancer.

Lauren Hill is someone for whom we are thankful. In the spirit of Thanksgiving (this Thursday in the US) and in the spirit of Lauren, I want to extend other thanks around this situation that haven’t received as much publicity … after all, honoring others is in her spirit.

Cheers to the Hiram College Athletic Department (the opponents) for agreeing to and supporting a petition to the NCAA for changing the date, giving up a home game,and being willing to travel across the state.

Cheers to the NCAA for allowing the game to take place approximately two weeks before the official start of the season.

Cheers to Mr. Joseph University for honoring their commitment to Lauren.

Cheers to Xavier University for donating the use of their arena for the game.

Cheers to the Hiram players for doing the right thing during the game. Something that the videos here don’t show is how much of they reacted.

Cheers to the citizens of Cincinnati who purchased over 10,000 tickets, thus sold out the arena in 30-40 minutes.

Cheers to Mt. Joseph University for donating the proceeds from the game and merchandise sales to Lauren’s fund-raising efforts against DIPG.

Cheers to the people who lined the streets as the team bus travelled from Mt. St. Joseph’s campus to Xavier’s.

Cheers to Pat Summitt, the legendary women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee. Although fighting her own health battle (diagnosed in early 2011 with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease), she attended the game to award Lauren the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award from the United States Basketball Writers Association.

Cheers to Lauren’s teammates because Lauren impact on them will be forever.

Cheers to the national media for promoting this story.

Cheers to the Hiram players and coaching staff who embraced the moment with class and dignity … and I’m sure they will remember the day more than the game’s final result.

Cheers to Fox Sports Ohio for televising a game of a team that normally played before 100-200 people … and additional cheers to the broadcast affiliates from across the country who decided to broadcast the game.

Cheers to Devon Still, the Cincinnati Bengal who reached out to Lauren amidst his own strife … a 4-year-old daughter with pediatric cancer …. and for that special bond, Lauren signed her game-day jersey for presentation to young Leah Still.

Cheers to this touching segment by Tom Rinaldi on ESPN.

See, there are many shining lights in the world for which to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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56 thoughts on “On Cheers of Thanks

  1. What a zest for life! She does teach a lot of lessons about courage and perseverance and living life to the fullest, Cheers to her, and thanks for what she helps us all realize about the importance of family, life and dreams. Cheers to you as well, Frank, for sharing the story.

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  2. Cheers to you Frank for bringing this story to my attention! It is certainly uplifting and heartwarming to see how many worked to make this event a day to remember for Lauren Hill. For me this is the stuff of the real world – when whole communities as you just described work together to make one girls dream day come to life. The news media would do well to lead with these stories instead of the fear-mongering and gossip that so often pour into homes and heads. If we were more aware of all the good that goes on in the world it would soon become a very different sort of world! Well, that my opinion [in the shorts or not]. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday Frank, both you and Mrs R Angle too 🙂

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    • Pauline,
      Glad you appreciated all the connections in this story because that’s it … the community came together to make her day. As a whole, I imagine local media does a better job at bringing stories like this to the attention of others. Well … local media needs stories and national & global media sift though mountains of stories. Even then, many of the networks also work in stories about the goodness in life. Many thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes from my favorite Kiwi. Thanks for your joys.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine,
      Everything has a perspective … and in our world of a nature of selfishness, many of our problems are small … then again, many are like hers – very real. Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes ,,,, and blessings to you and your family!

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    • Claudine,
      She would be the first to say she has down days and moments, but her handling of her own situation is a priceless example of goodness and strength. … and yes … a peaceful Thanksgiving to all.

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    • Vanessa,
      This story came to light locally sometime in October … and then, probably due to the internet, it gathered national attention. By the time game day arrived, it was a story on the major networks, who had reporters at the game.

      Your description is very good as she seems to be one who refuses to be broken. Being local, we get more stories, thus additional tidbits such as what I posted. Thus my aim in the post was to mention many of those special notes that don’t get as much publicity.

      Thanks for the holiday wishes … and right back at you (although I know it’s not a UK holiday).

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  3. Frank,
    Thank you for sharing this. There is so much good in this world even in the face of something so seemingly unfair.

    Your kindness and heart is one of the many things this holiday for which I am grateful.

    Cathy

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  4. The example of everyone coming together for Lauren does indeed show us all what we can be thankful for each and every precious day. Thank you Frank, for your wonderful post. Have a great Thanksgiving.

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    • Karen,
      Great point about people coming together and many realizing the big picture of life. Thanks for the best wishes and Happy Thanksgiving to you … especially as you encounter a dose of the white stuff.

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  5. Cheers to Lauren!
    Cheers to you, Frank, and to all who care, are touched and who benefit in any way!
    It is a Thanksgiving story for all times.
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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      • Yes, we did hear about this story in Canada! Lauren’s story was featured more than once on the CBC.
        Also, I watch American news, so I am well aware of her heartwarming and positive message!
        Brain cancer hits close to home for me. Although not a rare form. it is what took my mother from me 2 years ago.
        Again, I wish you the best “Thanksgiving” …ever!

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  6. I always have such a hard time with things that are simple. I think there’s a mis-wiring in me that vacillates between the beauty of who we are and the awful things we do. I think my inability to reconcile my thoughts on this is why I write about things that don’t exist, that never were, that never will be, and that have no meaning other than that they satisfy some conception of what I see when I close my eyes.

    But I do thank you for this Frank. I had no idea. Watching that video was incredibly uplifting. Seeing people crowd around this girl was wonderful, and I really felt it. It makes me want to clap, or cry, and possibly it makes me want to write about all the things that shine.

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  7. Okay, I’ll stop feeling sorry for myself because this is my first Thanksgiving without my mother, who always made the big dinner for family and extended family, and whoever else stopped in or needed a meal. Cheers to Lauren, and to you Frank. Thank you for giving me a new perspective.

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    • Renee,
      Those initial holidays with someone missing are never easy. My MIL was on her final days last year at this time, so neither of the two big holidays were easy .. and although it wasn’t discussed, I’m sure she was on everyone’s mind this weekend … so strength to you during these days.

      On the other hand, yep … so much is a matter of perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It is a wonderful story wrapped around a tragedy. Lauren is an amazing young woman and I appreciate how you have highlighted all those who contributed to making her dream a reality. I had other stories, some similar and others simply inspirational, that made me also very thankful this week!

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    • Debra,
      People like Lauren are truly special, plus have an important lesson to teach all of us. This post started when I was telling a friend about some of these points, which he didn’t know. … and yes … my timing of this post with Thanksgiving was planned timing!

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  9. Pingback: Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 255 | A Frank Angle

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