Brain Tumor Doesn't Stop Student Athlete from Raising $1 Million for Research

CURE, Winter 2015, Volume 14, Issue 1

Advocacy Groups | <b>V Foundation</b>

Lauren Hill, a student-athlete at Mount St. Joseph University, has inspired many with her commitment to fulfilling her dream of playing college basketball despite a diagnosis of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), an aggressive type of brain tumor.

Lauren Hill, a student-athlete at Mount St. Joseph University, has inspired many with her commitment to fulfilling her dream of playing college basketball despite a diagnosis of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), an aggressive type of brain tumor. Hill scored the first and last basket during her team’s season-opening game, bringing national attention to the rare pediatric brain cancer and its slow research progress.Hill’s hope is to bring attention to the disease through her efforts on the court and in life. On Dec. 30, Hill reached her goal of raising $1 million for DIPG research, which included an anonymous $116,000 donation made a day before her deadline. Hill, who played her final game on Dec. 16 due to deteriorating health, was named an honorary coach on Dec. 18.

Journalist Tom Brokaw, former anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” announced he had completed treatment for multiple myeloma and is in remission.

“A year ago my future was more uncertain than I cared to acknowledge, but now I face the new year with very encouraging news. The cancer is in remission and I will shortly go on a drug maintenance regimen to keep it there,” he said in a statement.

Longtime ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Stuart Scott died in early January from appendiceal cancer. He was 49. Scott was recognized with the Jimmy V ESPY Award for Perseverance in July after living with the disease for seven years, through several cancer surgeries, treatments and recurrences.

“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up,” he said during his acceptance speech. “When you die, that does not mean you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live.”

Upon news of his death, The V Foundation for Cancer Research and family members established The Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, which aims to assist communities, such as minorities, that are disproportionately affected by cancer. ESPN has since donated $100,000 to the fund.

Jason White, longtime guitarist for the band Green Day, was diagnosed with tonsil cancer. The malignancy was found during a routine tonsillectomy and is treatable, the band disclosed on its website.

Musician Joe Cocker died of small cell lung cancer on Dec. 22 at age 70. Best known for “Up Where We Belong” and “You Are So Beautiful,” Cocker had garnered many awards throughout his career, including a Grammy and Academy Award.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry, 26, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in early December. An MRI suggested lymphoma after he complained of chest discomfort after a game. He is currently receiving treatment at Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta, which is close to his hometown of Fairburn, Ga.