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Lauren Hill Gets an Honorary Coach Title

Basketball, Lauren Hill and Inspiration

Lauren Hill is one inspirational young woman who can make you smile and cry, all in the same five minutes. While she won’t be able to play basketball anymore, she will continue to be a part of the sports world as an honorary coach.

About Lauren Hill

In case you aren’t familiar with her, Lauren Hill is a teenager who had the dream to play basketball at the college level. While that dream itself may seem interesting enough, it is the perseverance that this 19-year-old has shown to reach that goal despite having been diagnosed last year with an inoperable brain tumor that makes her extraordinary. In spite of her health issues, Hill made it to the college level for basketball, inspiring many people by reaching her dream.

It was only a few weeks after Hill reached the college basketball level that she spoke openly to the media about the rare tumor that is in her brain stem. Earlier this week, she was quoted as saying, “My body is shutting down – there’s nothing I can do.” She explains that while some moments she is strong, other moments she feels unsteady.

Her dream of playing college basketball came true in early November as she played with the Mount St. Joseph Team in Cincinnati, Ohio. She played while she was starting to undergo chemotherapy and radiation.

Honorary Coach Title for Lauren Hill

Now, Hill will be able to stay on the basketball team, this time as an honorary coach. While she will be on the bench now rather than playing on the court, she will still be able to be close to the sport that she loves. It is inspiring that this young woman has kept smiling and reaching for her dreams despite such a serious diagnosis.

Indeed, being told you have an inoperable tumor would bring many adults to their knees. While I am sure that Lauren Hill does have sad moments, as that is only to be expected, she continues to share her story honestly and to make the most of her days. While she certainly could stay in bed all day, she instead chooses to get up in the morning and participate in the sport that brings her happiness.

In addition to telling her story to the media to raise awareness about health conditions like hers and offer hope to people around the world, Lauren Hill has also raised money for brain cancer research. To date, one of her campaigns has raised about $500,000 already for cancer research. She has conducted fundraisers, using her new position in the media spotlight to do good for many people. She is such a giving person; this attribute is readily apparent.

To Lauren, #22 on her basketball team, we are rooting you for all of the good that you are doing! Find out more about Lauren’s challenge called Layup 4 Lauren at The Cure Starts Now Foundation.

©2014 Christy Birmingham


Top photo via University Herald website

31 thoughts on “Lauren Hill Gets an Honorary Coach Title”

  1. A remarkable story to remind us to always keep hoping and stay inspired. The love for life trumps all of life’s sorrows. We must all remember to be grateful for small mercies, not just at this time, but always. Sometimes it takes reminders of other’s woes to remind us how grateful we are. <3

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Thanks, Deb. I think it’s great you are grateful year round as many people are reminded to be that way at Christmas time. It’s about the small things and what they represent… and how we perceive them… And you, my dear, have a wonderful sense of perception and understanding xx

    2. Christy Birmingham

      Ohhhh! That’s exactly how I want readers to be! Thanks Deb as that comment means a lot to me xx

  2. Christy, this is a beautiful post and I’m so glad you shared it. We have been following this heartbreaking and inspiring story here. Lauren continues to amaze me every time she makes yet another appearance in spite of her condition. I feel most people would have gone home and given up by now.\, but Lauren is out there following her dream AND raising money for her cause. I applaud you for posting her story. She is an amazing light.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Michelle, You express well here what I find so compelling about her too – she remains strong and motivated day after day to help others. What a giving soul she has! Truly a person to admire. (Pssst hugs to you too)

  3. Dear Christy,

    Thank you for sharing the inspirational post on Lauren Hill who demonstrates her courage by not only fighting cancer, but by fulfilling her aspirations of playing and coaching college basketball. I lost my beautiful daughter-in-law last year after her fight with cancer and am moved by Lauren who does not let this disease get her down. She lives her dream to the fullest with her remaining time. She teaches us all a powerful lesson that we need to grasp every moment with joy and love. This was a heart-felt article for me. Best wishes for a happy holiday season.


    1. Christy Birmingham

      Dear Linnea, I am sorry to hear of the loss in your family. You are so right that making the most of the time we have here is important and that we need to focus on what is most important to us. I love that Lauren continued to pursue her dream once she was diagnosed because of the preciousness she saw in life and the positive moments she could still enjoy. Sweet friend, thank you for your comment and for taking the time here. Many hugs I send your way for the holidays xo

  4. A very inspiring post and a good example of perseverance and hope…
    As Sylvester said above: “A very well timed post for the season that we are in”.
    Thanks for sharing!. All the best to you, dear Christy. Enjoy your weekend <3 Aquileana :D

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hi Aqui, thanks for stopping by! Yes, Lauren reminds us to focus on the important things around us xx You are wonderful, Aqui, and I hope your weekend is going well! May inspiration surround you :)

  5. I was so touched when everybody moved that game earlier so Lauren could reach her dream and play for her college. And ESPN showed it on TV to the nation. I’m glad she continues to battle. Thanks for sharing this, Christy.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Thank you Mark for your awesome spirit and for helping cheer Lauren on! Wishing you a great weekend :)

    2. Christy Birmingham

      Thanks, Mark! I hope you are having a great weekend and that the holidays ahead are wonderful for you!

  6. The Today show on NBC here, did a nice feature on Lauren. She is an amazing an inspiring soul and to see her reach her dream of playing college basketball was even more inspiring. Despite the difficulties we face in live, in whatever aspect, we need to have the courage to face adversity and the faith and belief to overcome. Thank you for your inspiring soul Christy! A very well timed post for the season that we are in.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Thank you, Syl! Your comment is so well articulated. I agree that faith really does help us retain our strength in trying times. I am so thankful for the inspiration of Lauren and for the caring souls of people such as YOU!!

    2. Christy Birmingham

      Aww! True kindness. I appreciate you too, Syl! Let’s keep inspiring one another into the New Year :)

  7. Beautiful story Christy, comparing this case with another similar which recurred to assisted suicide makes me think again as to how I feel about this matter. It is indeed a dilemma, and this courageous teenager proves that even though humans ultimately choose what they want to do in these circumstances (homo sapiens sapiens being the only species with this skill), she has chosen to persevere, and this becomes the “flip side” of the “physician assisted suicide” issue.

    1. As this case is clearly the opposite to the one that advocated PAS, I meant to briefly state some of the religious views on this matter:

      “Because assisted suicide and euthanasia constitute deliberate killing of another person, these practices contradict the fundamental Buddhist principle of refraining from killing a living being. Suicide is an uncompassionate act as it causes grief to others and deprive them of spiritual development. Assisted suicide is also uncompassionate because death will not relieve the killed person of suffering, but postpone the suffering to the next life. The perpetrator will also experience negative karma and suffering in the next life, as killing another person is a negative act.”-Wiki

      I don’t necessarily believe in an ‘afterlife’, but it’s the argument that Buddhists use.

      As to Christianity, the term “slippery slope” has been used to explain why they contradict it:

      “There are many health care professionals, especially those concerned with bioethics, who are opposed to PAS due to the detrimental effects that the procedure can have with regard to vulnerable populations. This argument is known as the “slippery slope”. This argument encompasses the apprehension that once PAS is initiated for the terminally ill it will progress to other vulnerable communities, namely the disabled, and may begin to be used by those who feel less worthy based on their demographic or socioeconomic status.”-Wiki

      Thus they think that by legalizing PAS, a series of consequential events (the “slippery slope”) begin to occur. Vulnerable people with lifelong disabilities, for example, will begin to utilize this route to end their suffering.

      Either way, with this post you have written Christy, I now have changed my views on the issue. I now feel very neutral, because I also did empathize with the Oregon case, with the reasons she did what she felt she had to do. So, in either case, both decisions are to be highly respected, as each individual is different and so unique. The challenge to the field of bioethics is incrementing, as it must transcend long held religious beliefs and doctrines which still lean towards preserving life at all costs. Keeping people alive after they have lost their quality of life still raises many fundamental debates, and individual choice and rights are beginning to break ground in the U.S..

    2. Christy Birmingham

      Thank you Maria for your thoughtful response to the post and for taking such care with your words.

      I agree that it is a difficult subject you bring up and that certainly a case-by-case basis is the best way to find the optimal solution. While society loves to compartmentalize people, it’s so difficult to do so as each person is original and a product of a unique mix of both genetic and environmental factors.

      While we will all leave this earth one day, I only hope we all learn how to use our special gifts while we are still here! I am thankful for women such as the ones I highlight on this blog as they are making the most of their gifts, in some way. That helps motivate others and, hopefully, shares positive energies.

      I wish you a beautiful rest of your weekend!

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