Lauren Hill is a college freshman at Mount St. Joseph who has inoperable brain cancer. Her diagnosis in September said that she only had a few months to live. But despite her disease, Hill played on her team’s first basketball game of the season against Hiram College and made the first basket of the 2014-2015 college basketball season. The NCAA allowed the schools to move the game up two weeks so that Hill could hopefully play. 10,250 fans came to watch Mount St. Joseph win the game 65-55, and Hill scored the last basket of the game as well. Many fans showed their support by making signs and posters to support Hill. A group of supporters made big yellow cutouts that spelled out “Lauren 22.”
Although she spent most of the game on the bench wearing sunglasses and headphones due to her sensitivity to light and noise, Hill enjoyed her first college basketball game.
“This game was amazing,” Hill told the Huffington Post. “It was awesome in every way. It’s a dream come true. To play on a college court, to put my foot down on the floor and hear the roar of the crowd—I just love it so much. I love basketball.”
Hill started an online fundraising campaign that challenges people to spin around five times and shoot a layup in order to raise awareness and funds for pediatric-cancer research. The Cure Starts Now Foundation raised over $40,000 and continues to raise money.
Katie Towne, mother of an eleven-year-old girl, Cynthia Towne, who also has an inoperable form of cancer, told the Huffington Post about her excitement in watching the game.
“I’m happy for the joy of her getting her wish coming true, not only for raising awareness but also for being able to play in this game,” Towne said. “But there’s also sadness knowing that how much awareness she brings right now, she won’t get to reap the benefits personally. That’s what’s amazing; she did this, knowing that.”