Hoopster Lauren Hill's death sparks social media outpouring of love

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez |

(The Cure Starts Now Foundation Facebook)Diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma shortly after her 18th birthday, Lauren Hill sought to raise awareness and for the rare disease that eventually totaled more than million. Her journey to do so began when she realized her dream of playing college basketball on an NCAA court and scoring her first gol before a crowd of more than 10,250. Lauren Hill, 19, died on April 10, 2015.

CINCINNATI, Ohio (Christian Examiner) -- Following several months of miracle milestones the terminally ill Mount St. Joseph's women's basketball player who won national attention for her courageous and public fight against a rare and aggressive cancer died Friday at age 19.

Media outlets first shared Lauren Hill's story when she fulfilled a lifelong dream last November to play in a Division III basketball game despite the dizzying physical challenges resulting from her growing inoperable brain tumor.

Mount St. Joseph president Tony Aretz told media the Lawrenceburg, Indiana native made a lasting impact on the school that will long be remembered.

"We are forever grateful to have had Lauren grace our campus with her smile and determined spirit," Aretz said.

It was Hill's "Never Give Up" attitude that inspired so many as she defied the odds by living beyond the expected months she was given, and overcoming her physical limitations day after day.

The announcement of her death drew numerous comments from her fans on social media and the acknowledgement of various celebrities including LeBron James who tweeted a series of messages praising Hill for her leadership and inspiring nature.

One of his messages states, "I never got the chance to meet u in person but know you inspired me the whole time!"

Hill was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma during her senior year of high school last Fall, shortly after she turned 18. Since then, the Indiana native raised more than $1 million for research in hopes to find a cure for cancer. Hill was a determined advocated to find a "home run cure" to beat all cancer through The Cure Starts Now

"Through Lauren's fund-raising and advocacy efforts she not only became a spotlight on the lack of funding for cancer research, but she most certainly has become a beacon guiding researchers for years to come," said Brook Desserich, co-founder of the organization, on the group's Facebook page.

Hill received numerous honors and awards including the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award, the Ohio Governor Courage Award and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her university to name a few. A number of organizations

A public memorial service will be held at Xavier University's Cintas Center Monday, according to a Cincinnati news station WLWT5. The family intends to hold a private funeral service.