A year after their daughter's death, Lauren Hill's parents talk about their trying times and triumphs in a revealing, emotional interview with WCPO's Tanya O'Rourke.
Looking back, Lisa and Brent Hill share treasured personal moments: their "gigglefests" with Lauren, hugging in every room of the house, singing in the car, the necklaces Lauren gave to them and what the engravings mean, giving her room to be independent and grow into a young woman, just like many other parents, but always remembering that their 19-year-old was dying of inoperable brain cancer.
Looking ahead, they worry that all the attention on Lauren was hard on their two younger teens, Nathan and Erin. Says Brent: "I think my biggest fear is how it affected the other kids – the fact that we had to put Lauren first because we had such limited time." But they are encouraged by the bonding they've seen between them.
Looking back, the Hills share their pride and their pain: Lisa describes how hard it was to watch Lauren's health deteriorate and to carry her mother's anguish everywhere she went. "You're like, I don't even want to go to Kroger's," she says. "Obviously, not having her here is awful," says Brent, "but by the same token, to know what she's done to help other kids and inspire other people and hopefully keep DIPG in the forefront, it's amazing what she's been capable of."
Looking ahead, they talk about completing Lauren's mission to find a cure for DIPG, the small steps researchers have been able to take thanks to Lauren's fundraising and their own determination to complete her mission. "Hopefully, one of these days, one of these doctors will diagnose this to one of these families and say, 'Here's what we're going to do about it,' and it's going to be something positive," says Brent.
They talk about Lauren's winged headstone and what it means to them, and what Lauren might have accomplished in life.
"Would she have been the first female president?" Lisa wonders. "I don't know, but it kind of makes you think about how much she's done in a short period of time."
Watch the extended video here: