The Importance of 22
By Katie Grace
…and I’m not talking about the popular Taylor Swift song. Every once in a while, amidst all the bad in the world, an individual emerges as a beacon of inspiration, goodness, and hope for all to follow. Right now, that individual is Lauren Hill. Lauren Hill is a freshman basketball player at Mount St. Joseph University whose fight with cancer has inspired the nation.
During her senior year of high school, after signing with MSJU, Lauren was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG; a rare and highly aggressive type of pediatric cancer. Before (and after) her diagnosis, Lauren’s dream was to play college basketball. She refused to allow her cancer to stop her from achieving her dream.
On Sunday, November 2, her dream became a reality. At Xavier University’s Cintas Center, Lauren and the rest of the MSJU women’s basketball team took the court to play Hiram College. Within seconds, Lauren scored the first lay-up of the game and the sold-out crowd of 10,000 erupted in cheers. At halftime, Lauren received the Pat Summit Most Courageous Award from the United States Basketball Writers Association. As the game went on, Lauren and her team won 66-55, with Lauren scoring four of the Mount’s 66 points. The game was a mountain of emotion and inspiration and an experience that will never be forgotten.
After Lauren accomplished her dream of playing college basketball, she began a new dream: to raise awareness for DIPG. One that, I believe, she is already successfully accomplishing. Even weeks after the game, Lauren continues to inspire the nation. Lauren’s story has attracted celebrity encouragements, social media campaigns, and thousands of supporters. She has, clearly, touched the hearts of many. Lauren took her heartbreak of cancer and transformed it into a story for change, hope, and optimism. She took a tragic situation and made it positive for all. Lauren Hill is a light for all and her fight will continue.