By now, you've probably heard of Lauren Hill. In November, The Mount St. Joseph freshman was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, but she hasn't let the diagnosis stopped her from living her dreams. Lauren made headlines this week after she fulfilled one of her lifelong goals by playing her first college basketball game. She joined Glenn Thursday night to share her story, one filled with optimism and hope despite the incredible challenges before her.
During her senior year, Lauren experienced several odd symptoms that led to her going to get checked out at a doctor.
"And I had asked to go to each doctor, like the eye doctor and the ear doctor, and then finally we ended up just going to the doctor doctor, because I wasn’t playing as normal as I was playing. My senior year, my playing was sloppy, and I was out of shape. As the weeks went by, I didn’t get in shape, and that was just an odd thing. So we had to go get that checked out, and I expected it to be a concussion or something, but it was a tumor," she explained.
"I remember being shocked, but my parents were really sick to their stomachs. I remember I just started spewing out questions right away, like how are you guys going to help, and what are we going to do to stop this tumor, and how are we going to slow it down? When they, you know, say that it’s inoperable and there’s nothing they can do about it, it really hits you, and it hits home. It’s kind of like just standing there and have the rug pulled out from underneath your feet and slamming against the ground and being left breathless."
When faced with this kind of devastating news, some may choose to wallow in despair. Others, like Brittany Maynard, have chosen to end their own lives at a time of their choosing before the degenerative effects of the disease ruin their bodies. But Lauren has embraced a different path.
"There was a January night where I wasn’t feeling, I was not very happy, and I was kind of feeling really negative and just not positive at all, and I was wondering why this was happening. You know, because we always question when we get diagnosed with cancer, a terminal diagnosis, why me, why my sister or whoever?"
"I remember when I was asking why, I just decided that it doesn’t matter why it happened, and I guess I just accepted it as my journey, and I told God that I would speak for the little kids that couldn’t speak, because not a lot of people know about DIPG. And the kids that are diagnosed with DIPG, they tend to lose their voices and can’t express their symptoms like I can, and so I decided that I’m not fighting for myself. I’m going to start fighting for others, and that’s what makes it kind of easier to keep moving on is to fight for others and not for myself."
"I feel like my life is meant to make an impact, like maybe that’s why I was sent here. That was my job that God gave me was to be a voice and make an impact and hopefully raise research money for DIPG and get cancer solved because just all cancer needs to go away."