Lauren Hill died Friday morning.
The 19 year-old student at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati began experiencing dizziness during her senior year in high school, just after she’d decided where she’d attend college and play basketball.
By the time the freshman arrived at Mount St. Joseph last fall, she knew she had inoperable brain cancer. The prognosis was that her condition would continue to get worse, and that she would die sometime around Christmas.
But Lauren Hill was determined to make the most of every day she had, and that meant playing basketball. Her coach and teammates supported that determination. When Hill began having fewer and fewer relatively good days, her coach, Dan Benjamin, went to work on the schedule. He got the team’s first game moved up a couple of weeks. By then Lauren Hill’s story was out. Nearby Xavier University offered their much bigger gym to accommodate all the people who wanted to see the game.
I’m spreading awareness and also teaching people how to live in the moment, because the next moment’s not promised. What matters is right now.Lauren Hill
In their first possession, Mount St. Joseph ran a play the coach had designed called “Lauren’s layup.” Lauren Hill scored. That was fine with Mount St. Joseph’s opponent, Hiram College. Their players were also fine with Hill scoring the last two points of the game, so sportsmanship, thy name is Hiram.
Because she embraced each day she had, Lauren Hill became a national story. She took advantage of that phenomenon to create the Layup4Lauren Challenge and other fund-raising opportunities that eventually netted more than $1.5 million for cancer research ... a number certain to grow.
Of her efforts beyond that, Hill said, “I’m spreading awareness and also teaching people how to live in the moment, because the next moment’s not promised. What matters is right now.”
This segment aired on April 11, 2015.