By Kaleb Page
The game of basketball is something that Lauren Hill has loved for a very long time. Her love of the game took her from playing in Lawrenceburg, IN to being a member of Mount St. Joseph University’s basketball team (Division III) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Being a member of this team is quite the remarkable accomplishment based on the hard reality Lauren faces every day.
In November of Lauren’s senior year in high school, she went to the doctor after having occasions of feeling dizzy, slow and at times numb. After going to the doctor she received news that she had an inoperable brain tumor; a life expectancy of two years. Even after receiving that news, Lauren played her senior year and signed on at Mount St. Joseph to continue playing.
Flash forward to the start of her freshman year and the news on her tumor had grown even worse. When she went for her latest MRI her life expectancy was reduced to this December. It all seemed like her dream of being a college basketball player would never come true as her condition would be too bad for her to take the court. In a great gesture not only by the NCAA but by the university as well, the first game of the season was moved up to this past Sunday November 2, 2014 (two weeks earlier than normal).
Seventeen seconds into the game Lauren got a lay up, her first score as a college basketball player. This moment brought a stop to the game as her teammates rushed the court and everyone cheered the moment that was. Then the final basket of the game came on another Hill layup that capped off a win by Mount St. Joesph over Hiram College 66-55. A great day that saw not only local support from the people of Cincinnati, but nationally as well with the likes of LeBron and Candice Parker sending out messages of how inspired they were by Lauren’s courage and determination.
Her story is something my words on this post probably could do no justice to. For anyone who has not seen it on ESPN, SportsCenter or any other media outlet; the piece put together by Tom Rinaldi is amazing. He does it time and time again finding these stories that need to be told. He frames them in such a fantastic way and flows the story along that makes you not only connect to what you are watching, but more importantly to the people involved.
He definitely gave this story the platform it deserves and let Lauren be the face of pediatric cancer that her doctor mentioned was needed today. I assure you watching this piece will not only inevitably make you feel sad, but it will also make you want to tell Lauren Hill she is inspirational. For all the things she has stacked against her and the obstacles put in her path; she went forward until she met her goal.
More and more we see people give up on their goals and not even have the horrible circumstances put on them like Lauren did. That is why Lauren is not just the face of pediatric cancer. She is also the face of the ultimate perseverance to accomplish anything you put your mind to. When you put all your hard work, effort and time looking to achieve a goal or goals; nothing can stop you.
Look at Lauren Hill, she will show you that first hand.