Playing Basketball With Cancer

By: Bryce Utter

Raising Money

Lauren Hill was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma shortly after her 18th birthday. The rare form of brain cancer typically affects young children ages 4 to 9. An announced $40,000 was raised the day of the game for The Cure Starts Now Foundation and pediatric cancer research. Hill would go on to help raise $1.4 million for pediatric cancer research with the nonprofit group The Cure Starts Now. The organization called her a "worldwide inspiration".
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The Lives Lauren Touched

"When I was diagnosed I remember kind of feeling lonely because nobody understood. And now that more people know about this story and 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," Lauren said. DeWire explained what Hill endured physically at the basketball game - that loud noises affected her balance and bright lights bothered her. "As you can see,Lauren is strong. She was going to rock it, and she did," Dr. DeWire said. "She did more than rock it." The community had lost more than a player, he said. It last a friend and a daughter. And it lost "an unselfish angel".

Lauren Hill: "I want everyone to know I never give up."

Coach Benjamin and The Cure Starts Now Foundation

Lauren Hill raised over $1.5 million for the foundation and there is still more donations being made everyday. The day of Lauren's game, $40,000 was raised for The Cure Starts Now Foundation. "Through Lauren's fundraising and advocacy efforts, she's not only became a spotlight on the lack of funding for cancer research, but she most certainly has become a beacon guiding researchers for years to come," The Cure Starts Now co-founder Brooke Desserich said.

Coach and the players bonded instantly, and then the team followed suit. "The two biggest things we wanted to accomplish is team and team chemistry, and Lauren helped us to do that. But along the way she's made a lot of our girls become very mature, which is apparent. That's what you always want to do. You want your kids to understand what life's about," Benjamin said. "And here instead of me teaching them, it was Lauren teaching them. She's made a great impact on these young ladies. I think they're going to remember this life lesson forever and hopefully they carry it out and help her carry the mission in their own lives."