Ohio player with cancer raises money for research

Lauren Hill gets congratulation from a teammate after practicing with her NCAA college basketball team at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. She's got only a few months to live, and she's spending a good part of it on the basketball court getting ready for her one shining moment. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

CINCINNATI (AP) — College basketball player Lauren Hill has helped a cancer research foundation present over $176,000 to a Cincinnati hospital to fight the disease that has left Hill with only months to live.

The Division III Mount St. Joseph freshman was diagnosed with the inoperable brain cancer a year ago. The 19-year-old Lawrenceburg, Indiana, native raised awareness about the disease while playing against Hiram College before a sellout crowd Nov. 2 at Xavier University’s 10,000-seat arena. She also started a layup challenge that is helping the Cure Starts Now Foundation raise money for research.

Hill and her parents attended the foundation’s check presentation Thursday at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Her fatal brain tumor known as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, is located in the pons, where the spinal cord meets the brain. It is inoperable due to where it is located. The tumor also spreads into healthy surrounding tissue.

The money given to the hospital’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute will go to the institute’s DIPG registry that collects brain tissue samples and information from DIPG patients to help researcher find treatments for the rare cancer.

Hill said Thursday at a news conference at the hospital that she has always tried to be a role model for children and with “all this happening, I feel almost like a superhero.”

The Cincinnati-based foundation’s president, Keith Desserich, said later Thursday that Hill has been a voice for children fighting these types of cancer and for those who are focused on finding a cure.

Desserich says Hill has already raised about $203,000 for the foundation.


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