CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Lauren Hill, the Mount St. Joseph basketball player who has won the hearts of thousands with her courageous battle against brain cancer, has helped raise more than $175,000 for The Cure Starts Now Foundation.
Hill, 18, has a form of brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG. The disease can be fatal, but since being diagnosed a year ago, she hasn't wallowed in self-pity, instead she's decided to fight.
After making a layup against Hiram College, at a sold out Cintas Center on Nov. 4, Lauren tearfully told the crowd “Today has been the best day I've ever had.”
Lauren's achievements on the basketball court pale in comparison to her efforts to raise awareness about DIPG. She says she wants to give hope to others. “I like being known as an inspiration and as a teacher and a hero for DIPG.”
The teenager proved that by helping to raise $176,000 for The Cure Starts Now Foundation which presented the money today to Children's Hospital to help cancer research.
The foundation's Keith Desserich says Lauren has been focused on a home run strategy for a cure. “The idea that if we focus on cancer such as DIPG that we might find a way to cure all cancers because it's going to force us to try brand new strategies that we otherwise might not try.”
Desserich, whose own daughter died of the disease, says Lauren has shown unparalleled courage. “She had this attitude of asking instead of why me asking why not me.”
The money will fund the DIPG registry at Children's Hospital. The registry collects tissue samples and information about DIPG patients which helps researchers find better treatments for this fatal disease.
"Hopefully with this research, it'll end up finding a homerun cure. They don't have to say it's a terminal diagnosis,” said Lauren Hill at Thursday's check presentation.
"Instead of saying we hope that you'll make it past two years, and we hope that you'll do this, it'll be possible,” Hill said on Thursday.