CINCINNATI – Lauren Hill is smiling.
The goal she set shortly before she died last April – raising $2.2 million for pediatric cancer research, symbolic of her famous No. 22 basketball jersey – was reached just before the New Year rang in Friday morning.
The Cure Starts Now, the foundation seeking a cure for Hill's rare, inoperable brain cancer, DIPG, made the announcement.
After her diagnosis in 2013, the Mount St. Joseph University basketball hero and The Cure Starts Now worked hand-in-hand to raise money for research. She originally set a goal of $1 million and met that just before New Year's 2015.
A telethon in November brought in $160,000.
Hill became the nation's most endearing sports figure of 2014 and is still being honored for her determination and inspiration. She will receive the NCAA Inspiration Award Jan. 15 at a ceremony at the NCAA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
Hill drew national attention for the fight against DIPG by playing in four college basketball games despite her brain cancer and by speaking on behalf of other victims - mostly pre-teens - and their families. Her first game drew a sellout crowd of 10,250 to Xavier's Cintas Center, and EPSN awarded her an ESPY for Best Moment of the year.
You can donate at https://grouprev.com/laurenhilltelethon.