23 May 2015

Lauren Hill Heroic Inspirations

I saw this card featured on a few websites when it was released a couple of months ago, and I recently ordered one of my own. Lauren Hill was recruited to play college basketball for Mount St. Joseph, but was diagnosed with a terminal pediatric brain cancer and given a very short time to live. In order to fulfill her dream of playing basketball, the NCAA and Hiram College agreed to change an away game into a home game and move it up by two weeks to allow her to play. Due to overwhelming interest in the game, Xavier University opened up their facility for the game, allowing many more people to attend and watch the game. Most of the school's games would attract 100 fans, but 10,000 attended this one.

Lauren scored the first basket of the game, then was subbed out. She also scored the last basket of the game, which her team won by a score of 66 - 55. She appeared in a couple more games and, more importantly, raised awareness and over $1 million for The Cure Starts Now, a pediatric cancer awareness foundation. She understood that she was going to die, and continued to push and drive for her cause, funding a cure for cancer. Lauren died on April 10, 2015.

Upper Deck released a Heroic Inspirations trading card honoring Hill, with profits from sales going to The Cure Starts Now. I ordered one of them a few weeks ago. There is an autographed version of the card in addition to the base card. The site for ordering the cards appears to be down now but there is another site set up, Layup 4 Lauren, to honor Lauren and continue her work.

I am kind of a soft-hearted guy, so stories like this hit me right in my feels. It was pretty amazing that she remained so optimistic and outspoken, even in the very last days of her life. It is pretty important to remember that many of these stories end without a miraculous recovery and a great many kids with cancer don't pull through, as that knowledge lends a bit of urgency to the need for awareness and funding for research on detection, prevention, and treatment. We tend to avoid the topics of death and disease because they make us uncomfortable and they're not nice or fun or beautiful, but awareness is an important part of enacting change.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I recently ordered one of these. I suppose I'm a softie too. After reading this, I can't wait to receive mine!