Remember Lauren Hill
Miko Malabute | Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Over the weekend, Mount St. Joseph University’s women’s basketball player Lauren Hill passed away after a brave battle with terminable brain cancer. At the age of 19, she was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma only a year before her death, and that year would be marked with physical and emotional hardship. The sounds and bright lights of basketball games were often too much for Hill, who would wear special sunglasses and headphones or earplugs to help cope with the glaring sights and the blaring sounds. It’s a wonder as to why she would put herself through so much extra pain and hardship.
Yet I introduced Hill as a Mount St. Joseph’s women’s basketball player. She was a student athlete before anything else, and it was that which she wanted to be remembered for. She made it well known that it was her dream to play collegiate basketball, and she succeeded in it. She played in four games this season, and as blogger Kmarko of Barstool Sports said, she hit some of “the most emotional layup[s] you’ll ever see in a sports game.”
As is typical of many other transcendent athletes, she succeeded in the face of adversity, ignoring her own personal pain and struggle in favor of a much greater cause. At the age of 19, she raised over $2 million for cancer research — before she reached the age to legally drink, she was able to leave a lasting impact on our society, a legacy some of us waste years never even coming close to building or achieving.
Early last November, after coming out of her first game for the Mount St. Joseph, she said in a TV interview, “Let’s not call it my last game. This is my first collegiate game.” Here is a woman who had every reason to give up and focus on her health, but what she showed the world that day what was good for her health: living out her dreams and relentlessly giving chase to constantly achieve those dreams. That is how she should have lived her life, and did indeed. She was an inspiration to all those who were fortunate enough to know her tragic story.
This weekend, we lost a valuable basketball player and an even more cherished woman. However, we gained an invaluable reminder to keep fighting for our dreams, that living everyday for our goals is what makes our livelihood.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.