NRL News

Lauren Hill enters hospice, continues to fight inoperable brain cancer with courage and dignity

by | Dec 3, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Lauren Hill

Lauren Hill

The family of Lauren Hill, the courageous freshman at Mt. St. Joseph college, announced last night that Lauren has entered hospice care. Lauren, battling inoperable brain cancer, has been a profile in courage as she refused to allow her disease to stop her from achieving a life-time goal: playing in a college basketball game.

We’ve reported on Lauren, a counterpart to fatalism and despair, a number of times. The response of our readers has been what you would expect: awesome.

The family’s Facebook post reads, in part, as follows:

Monday we signed on with Hospice. Originally this was planned to be done at the end of October or Early November but got side barred due to the big game. We are excited to have additional resources coming to our home. We have already been able to get supplies to help make things easier here at home. We have had another step down from steroids. She went from 5 mg in am and 5 mg in afternoon to 4 mg / 3 mg and now we are currently on 3 mg/3 mg. There has been now major changes in symptoms. Her headaches have flared up a little more than usual and balance issues just depend on the day and how tired she is.”

Almost exactly a month ago, Lauren attracted world-wide attention by playing in a college basketball game. Weakened by a very deadly form of brain cancer– Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)–Lauren refused to let go of her goal: playing in a college basketball game.

As you can imagine there was hardly a dry eye in the house when moments into the game against Hiram, Hill drove in for a layup. She used her off-hand because of the impact of the cancer on her right side. Lauren was mobbed by teammates.

What a remarkable young woman, what a remarkable family. Lauren drove with her family the entire four-hours it took to see Mt. St. Joseph play its second game of the season. “The team is part of her family,” her mom told ESPN’s Lynn Olszowy. “We knew we were coming. It was whether or not she would play or be in a wheelchair. It just depends on the day.”

Then a couple of weeks later, Lauren played briefly in the game against Bethany College and scored a basket. Olszowy wrote

The fact the layup was with Hill’s right hand is remarkable. The play is designed to go to the left because Hill has lost strength on the right side of her body due to the effects of inoperable brain cancer.

But, as her mom, Lisa, said in the stands after her daughter scored: “She’s a bold girl.”

On that night, Olszowy explained, “Hill came not only to cheer on her teammates, but to make a statement by adding two more points to her career scoring total. ‘It was good to see her out there one more time,’ said her father, Brent.”

After Hill’s first game Joe Kay of the Associated Press wrote

The school has received calls from people around the world who are touched by her courage and inspiration. A Layup4Lauren challenge raised money for research into the type of cancer that will shorten her life. Hill hopes that research will lead to treatments that give others a better chance of beating the odds.

Xavier University donated $58,776 on Tuesday, money raised from tickets and merchandise as the school offered its arena for the game. The NCAA allowed the schools to move the game up by two weeks because of Hill’s condition.

Coach Dan Benjamin told Kay that Hill’s teammates are rallying behind her as her energy wanes.

”Watching her go through her journey has been very tough, knowing she’s getting weaker at times, knowing she needs us even more now,” Benjamin said. ”She’s not going to be able to get out as much as she has done in the past, so now I will have to become her voice and her teammates will have to become her voice as well.”

The family completed its Facebook post about entering hospice care with a manifestation of the spirit that brought fans to their feet.

Overall she has been in good spirits this week and staying busy with special projects. In a funny, goofy mood tonight.

Categories: Hospice