By Lily Perez |Asst. A&E Editor|
Mount St. Joseph’s University freshman Lauren Hill made her lifelong dream come true on Nov. 2 by playing in a college basketball game.
Hill was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a terminal brain tumor that is found in the lower part of the brain near the spinal cord that affects most of the body’s vital functions.
Hill’s story has taken the internet by storm with trending hashtags like #Layup4Lauren and #1More4Lauren.
The 19-year-old was able to join her teammates for their opening game of the season in Cincinnati, Ohio against Hiram College.
Hill earn scored the team’s first points 17 seconds into the game, after finishing a lay up.
Lauren told NBC news, “I caught the ball, turned and looked at the basket and I put it up there. And I watched it all the way through.”
Thousands of onlookers rose to their feet and cheered as Hill’s teammates rushed to hug her and celebrate her shot.
Hill looked overjoyed, and it seemed apparent that she was having the time of her life.
Hill told The Huffington Post, “It was awesome in every way. It’s a dream come true. To play on a college court, to put my foot down on the floor and hear the roar of the crowd- I just love it so much. I love basketball.”
Hill was diagnosed shortly after committing to the team, and her doctors have said that she only has a few months left to live.
Hill’s successful layup would not have been possible without the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) who moved the game so Lauren could be healthy enough to play.
“The NCAA allowed the game to be moved up two weeks in hopes that Hill, who has severe headaches, is sensitive to light and has difficulties with her right hand from the cancer, could play,” according to NBC News.
Hill was able to overcome these obstacles and gave it her all on the court, scoring another shot near the end of the game, helping the team to a 66-55 victory.
Hill inspired also thousands with her courageous story.
Her story has created publicity, and many celebrities have reached out with several tweets.
Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Lebron James took to his Instagram to express his feelings of admiration towards Hill.
“You are simply and truly AMAZING Lauren Hill!!! Thank you for inspiring me and I’ll try my best to match you! Congrats on your game,” said James.
Lauren has been an advocate for DIPG, and has brought awareness to this illness through her “Layup4Lauren” challenge.
Similar to the ALS challenge that took the social media by storm this year, this challenge is geared to bring awareness to DIPG and raise money for a cure.
Since some of Lauren’s symptoms are dizziness and weakness in her dominant arm, the challenge requires for participants to spin around five times and attempt to shoot a lay up with their non-dominant hand. If participants miss the shot they donate $10, but if they are successful, they pass along the challenge.
Hill’s story is inspirational and people can join her cause and be part of her story by taking the Layup4Lauren challenge.