A college basketball player diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor left hospice care Saturday to score the first basket in her team’s home opener.
Lauren Hill, 19, a freshman on the Mt. St. Joseph women’s basketball team made her third appearance for the Lions, and scored two points against Franklin College before being replaced in the first quarter.
“This was my dream, to score on this floor, and it felt amazing,” Hill told WLWT.
The game, despite it being a loss, was significant for Hill who received a terminal diagnosis from doctors on Nov. 20, 2013. Since then, she’s been crossing items off her bucket list which included playing in her first-ever collegiate basketball game.
When doctors told her in November that she wouldn’t make it past December, the NCAA granted the Lions special permission to move up their first game of the season against Hiram College by two weeks so Hill could play.
Hill scored a left-handed layup in the opening moments of that game too.
A Facebook post on Dec. 3 written by family members said the Hills brought in hospice care to provide additional in-home assistance as her symptoms begin to worse and the tumor grows.
“Having nothing to help but the medicine and nothing to guide me through the process they give you to control the pain, I think in the end God has the last say,” Hill told Local 12 News.
And with the holiday season in full swing, Hill, who has no Christmas wants of her own except to be there to celebrate with her family, is asking for help in raising $1 million for cancer research by 2015.
“Dad, I don’t want anything for Christmas, I really don’t. I just want to be there, that’s what I want. I want to be there,’” Hill told Local 12 News when her dad asked for a wish list.
She is looking forward to spending time with her young brother and sister, and said she is more worried about the people she leaves behind than she is about dying.
“I know I will be fine,” Hill told Local 12 News. “Because I know I’ve done God’s work, what he sent me here to do. I maybe, I’m not done yet. Maybe that’s why I’m still here,” she said.