This past Sunday, the feast of All Soul’s Day, was an emotional roller coaster for so many people in our hometown and across the country. Although I haven’t been personally affected by the death of a loved one in a long time, my heart ached for those I encountered on that day.
Following an early morning Mass, my family gathered with hundreds of supporters in our community to celebrate “Lauren Hill” day in our township. That day was dedicated to Lauren Hill, a 19-year-old college freshman battling Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)—a terminal brain cancer. Lauren’s goal is to fulfill her dream of playing her first collegiate basketball game and to bring about an awareness and to seek out a cure for DIPG cancer.
Police and firefighters escorted the team bus from Mount St. Joseph University in Delhi Township to the arena where the game was played to a 10,000-seat, sold-out crowd. People lined the street to show their support as the motorcade passed by. Afterward, I learned that we were standing right next to Lauren’s grandparents who stood on the bed of a pick-up truck holding up a huge poster of their beautiful granddaughter. Upon learning this, I wanted to express my sympathy and support to them, but I simply had no words. I chocked back tears as I made the connection of seeing Lauren’s tears on the bus as she looked in their direction.
Lauren and her team went on to beat their opponent Harim College with a score of 66-55 with the most emotional and inspiring display of teamwork I have ever witnessed. Dare I say that in that particular game, there were NO opponents. Everyone in that stadium was there for Lauren.
“To reach and touch this many people is amazing. Not many people knew about DIPG before me, and now that they do, we can get research going to cure this cancer. I won’t be around to see that, but it’s going to help so many people. That’s why the support can’t end with this game.” –Lauren Hill
Lauren’s courageous battle through cancer shows us that life is precious and that each and every moment is to be cherished until God decides to take us back Home.
You can help by donating to The Cure Starts Now Foundation. It was created specifically to raise needed research money to find a cure for DIPG.