Community says goodbye to Lauren Hill - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Community says goodbye to Lauren Hill

Lauren passed away Friday from a rare form of brain cancer, DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma).  She helped raise more than $1 million for cancer research and brought awareness to the rare cancer (Photo: FOX19 NOW File) Lauren passed away Friday from a rare form of brain cancer, DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). She helped raise more than $1 million for cancer research and brought awareness to the rare cancer (Photo: FOX19 NOW File)
(PHOTO: FOX19 NOW/ Ben Katko) (PHOTO: FOX19 NOW/ Ben Katko)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Family, friends, teammates and total strangers came out Monday to the Cintas Center to say their final goodbyes to Lauren Hill.

"We all instantly, our community outpoured and our hearts went out to them, and I think she became our little sweetheart and our hero,” said Lauren's friend, Skyler Rainey.

A public visitation was held Monday afternoon before a memorial service on the same floor where her collegiate basketball career started.

"She was always a fighter, and still will forever be remembered as the strongest girl I ever knew,” said Alyssa Love, a friend of Lauren.

At the memorial service, Hill's casket was draped with her #22 high school and college jerseys. The shot clock in the Cintas Center was stuck on “22” for the night, as well.

Hill fought with DIPG, a rare form of brain cancer. It's a battle she took head on to raise awareness and money to fight back against the disease, even with a grim diagnosis and outlook.

"I believe that if Lauren was here tonight, she would encourage you through your trial, through your sickness, through your disease, through your pain, through your hour of darkness. She would say to you, 'never give up,'” said Corey Potts, pastor at Trinity Christian Center.

In November, it was a simple layup brought crowds to their feet. The story that started in the Cintas Center, finds an ending in the same place with a hero's goodbye, as the crowd stood and cheered one last time.

The Cure Starts Now Foundation is starting a new campaign called 'Club 22' in honor of Lauren's basketball jersey number. Club 22 intends to continue Lauren's progress in cancer research as well as celebrate her achievements.

Individuals can join the club by donating $22, $122, $222 or more per month, or a one-time donation to The Cure Starts Now. 

The foundation has announced it raised $58,146 on Monday.

Members of the club will receive access to Cure research and funding announcements, interviews with researchers and special offers and discounts for events throughout the country.

Visit www.layup4lauren.org to donate.

The Mount Saint Joseph University basketball player became the face of DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) after raising $1.4 million for research on the rare disease.

As a senior at Lawrenceburg High School, Lauren was diagnosed with DIPG only 49 days after signing on to play at MSJ.

Determined to help fulfill her dream of playing college ball, Mount St. Joseph coach Dan Benjamin got a special waiver from the NCAA to move up the team's season opener so that Lauren could play before her condition worsened.

After that game, her mission to spread DIPG awareness reached the national level and touched lives across the globe.

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