#22 Lauren Hill continues to inspire Mount St. Joseph's Lauren Hill gives thumbs-up as she holds the game ball during her first NCAA college basketball game against Hiram University at Xavier University in November (AP photos)
#22 Lauren Hill continues to inspire
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The Mount St. Joseph's women's basketball team held its postseason banquet in a Cincinnati hospital room warmed by Lauren Hill's smile.

The 19-year-old freshman made it through a full season while raising more than $1.3 million for research into the type of brain tumor that will likely end her life. She's occasionally hospitalized for treatment now, but still holding to each day as tightly as she can and urging others to appreciate their time together.

"That's truly Lauren," coach Dan Benjamin said in an interview. "That's the message she's been saying forever. She's just thankful God gave her that opportunity and that role because she's the one that could handle it. And she's done it so gracefully.

College player fights tumor for moment on court

"Even at the banquet, she comes in her wheelchair and she's all smiles. And that's truly amazing. I don't know what her pain level is or how much suffering she's going through, but the girl smiles every time she gets a chance."

Hill was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor during her senior year of high school. She decided to go ahead and attend college and play for the Division III school. The NCAA granted permission to move up the school's opening game because of her worsening condition, and she made a layup for the first basket in a game at Xavier University's 10,000-seat arena.

Hill was able to play in four games early in the season, making five layups. As her condition worsened, she became an honorary coach, attending games when possible. She tires easily now and needs to use a wheelchair often.

The team had planned to have its annual end-of-the-season banquet on Feb. 22 a date that matches Hill's uniform number but the final game got pushed back because of the weather. Hill was getting treated at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

So the team decided to take the banquet to the hospital, using a meeting room. Instead of having a big meal and awards, the players got sandwiches and spent time together.

"We were going to get something to eat, show up, talk about the season and celebrate being with each other," Benjamin said.

The team wore special gray jerseys for the first game at Xavier's arena. The NCAA prohibits schools from giving gifts to players, so they bought them for $22, another way to support Hill's fundraising for cancer research. Hill signed each of the jerseys at the banquet.

Doctors didn't expect Hill to live this long with the tumor, which folds around parts of her brain.

"The first diagnosis was December, around Christmas time, which is why I went ahead and tried to get the first game moved up," Benjamin said. "But that's Lauren. Lauren's not going to let it beat her. She's going to keep fighting.

"Everybody thought she'd be this small, tiny voice instead of this big lion roar. She's done a great job with that. And the money she's raised: Everybody thought she'd get some money, but $1.3 million is amazing."

In a recent interview with WKRC-TV, Hill said, "Life is precious. ... Every moment you get with someone is a moment that's blessed, really blessed."

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COMMENTS (8)
  • emilianar-Hyl
    3/04/2015 - 12:05 p.m.

    It is very amazing that a 19 year old college girl Lauren Hill raised $ 1.3 million i on year. It is also very inspiring and I want to do it to so this is also cool that she fought through her brain tumor. I hope she lives a happy life.

  • tylero-Hyl
    3/04/2015 - 12:06 p.m.

    I liked this artical because I heard about Lauren Hill before because I like to watch collage basketball. I thought it was cool that all of thoses things were $22 dallors and that her jearsy was 22 and others were 22 as well. Also that was a lot of money that she raised fot brain tumor.Thats why I like this artical and good luck to Lauren Hill.

  • robertd-Hyl
    3/05/2015 - 12:02 p.m.

    I don't watch college basketball but my sister knows all about her. She is proud that a girl her age can fight a tumor and play basketball at the same time. Also I am surprised that her Jersey number is the same as the admission to get into the Xavier stadium. So in conclusion I learned something and that is girls are as capable as boys at basketball and other sports.

  • margareth-Hyl
    3/05/2015 - 12:04 p.m.

    I think that it is horrible that a girl in collage has a brain tumor but that she can find the strength to play basketball is unimaginably brave. I do not know how she got the tumor but I want to. I do not know what treatment she is going through but I want to. I have not donated to her cause but I want to. Most of all I can not stop her suffering but I want to. I wish I could go back in time sometimes and change what has happened but I am not Hermine Granger. I think that some people were just born to be inspirational and she was.

  • aliciac-Hyl
    3/05/2015 - 12:05 p.m.

    Well I bet Lauren Hill is a great inspiration to anyone who has a brain tumor and to basketball teams all around the world. I can't believe that they raised 1.3 million, cause that's awesome. :( (frowny face) It's so sad. Don't look at me, wait I take that back ,you can't see me so I 'm fine. Okay right,right? I hope she's gonna be okay. Lauren is inspiration or Lauren =s inspire. I hope she survives. She is awesome.

  • morgann-war
    3/06/2015 - 01:59 p.m.

    This article was really good. I feel horrible for the girl, but her to not let it bother her is amazing. she also raised 1.3 million dollars like that is incredible. I like how her friends stay by her side while she is going through everything. She is really strong.

  • brandond-Hyl
    3/09/2015 - 12:06 p.m.

    This story was one of the best so far! This is because of the touching story of a girl named Lauren Hills and how she struggled through life, had to sit in a wheel chair, and was sent to the hospital and her friends moved the basket ball banquet to the hospital she was at. This is the details that are reacquired to show this is a grate artical.

  • nolanb-Hyl
    3/09/2015 - 12:07 p.m.

    This article was interesting. Also I feel horrible for the girl. I also cant believe that she raised 1.3 million dollars. Then after she was diagnosed with tumor ..... she still played basketball. This article is interesting.

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