GREENDALE, Ind. -- The eternal memorial is finally complete for a basketball player many will never forget.
Lauren Hill's mother shared photos of her daughter's headstone with WCPO on Tuesday evening. It's 5 feet 10 (Lauren's height) and has the things you'd expect out of any headstone -- Lauren's full name (her middle name was Elizabeth), her dates of birth and death, and a motto that she lived by to the end: Never give up.
And carved into the headstone at Greendale Cemetery is a jersey, Hill's No. 22, held by an angel.
Hill, a basketball player for Mount St. Joseph University in Delhi Township, Ohio, fought off her inoperable pediatric brain cancer to play college ball (selling out Xavier University's Cintas Center in the process) and inspired a nation to spin around and shoot layups and contribute to her crusade against pediatric cancer.
She ended up playing in four games and made five layups.
Hill held off her deadly disease for many months longer than her doctors expected, until she just couldn't anymore. She died April 10, 2015.
And, as the end neared, she told WCPO's Tanya O' Rourke she wanted to be remembered as "a hero" and not as a "quitter." Somehow, she feared that the kids who looked up to her would think she had quit on them.
Before she died, Hill raised more than $1.5 million for underfunded research for her rare disease, DIPG, which affects mostly 5- to 9-year-olds. Since then, the Cure Starts Now has reached Hill's fundraising goal of $2.2 million.
She was honored in July at the ESPYs with an award for the Best Moment. Parents Lisa and Brent Hill accepted the award on behalf of their daughter.
“I don’t think Lauren really grasped the impact she had,” Lauren Hill's mother, Lisa, said at the ceremony. “Her story went global … and we’re really blessed for her to have had the opportunity to be a voice and accomplish everything she was able to accomplish.”
Carved on the back of Hill's headstone are words from her family to anyone who may not know her story:
"Lauren was our hometown girl who was known for her smile, selflessness, grace and strength. Nearly overnight, she inspired a nation and was known around the world for her determination and courage to chase her dream of playing college basketball while fighting a rare terminal pediatric brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
She became a voice for children fighting cancer and an advocate in the desperate drive for research funding, better treatments and ultimately a cure. People loved and admired Lauren for all she stood for. In her 6 short months as the international voice for 'the homerun cure' she helped raise 1.4 million dollars for brain cancer research before earning her angel wings.
Among Lauren's gifts to the world were reminders of simple truths. Never Give Up chasing your dreams. Always live in the moment. Laughter makes everything better. Be true to yourself. Fight for what you believe in. To those you love, leave nothing unsaid. Trust in God's plan that each of us have been placed on earth for a greater purpose than ourselves.