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.