There are some stories you hear about that just make you believe in humanity again. That in between Miley dancing around scantily clad and sticking out her tongue some more (because apparently that makes news) and all the political crap going around this time of year, there are still some stories that make you wipe your eyes and say, “damn, that is awesome.”
The story I am talking about is Lauren Hill. She is an athlete, a basketball player. All she wanted to do was play college ball. That became a reality when she joined Mount St. Joseph’s College team. Only thing is that shortly after, she found out she had cancer.
DIPG, more specifically.
For anyone that has followed me here you know that my family has, unfortunately, intimate knowledge of DIPG, the brain cancer that took my nephew, Evan.
Despite her declining health, the fact that she could barely move on some days, Lauren practiced. She persevered. She continued to play not only because it was her DREAM to be a college basketball player, but also because she didn’t want to let down her team. She forged on, but DIPG did, too. Amazing- to be facing the most daunting aspect of life, the end of it, and her focus was on others.
Time was running out for Lauren, and here is where the story restores my faith in humanity.
The NAACP moved up their basketball schedule by 2 weeks to ensure she would be able to play.
This means the opposing team had to agree. They did.
Given all the attention Lauren was getting from the media, they needed to get a bigger stadium to fit all of Lauren’s supporters. 10,000 to be exact.
This meant the opposing team giving up home court advantage and pretty much support that the stadium would be filled with people cheering for the other team. They agreed.
The day before the game, Lauren’s team hosted the opposing team to dinner. Sitting down and sharing a meal with your opponent. They accepted.
The day of the game, the stadium was packed. The first shot was made by Lauren. A time out was called and Lauren’s team took time to celebrate on the court. The stadium cheered and here is the thing- the players from the other team, they were wiping away tears and cheering, too.
A lot of making Lauren’s last wishes come true relied on her opponents. And they made it happen. And that, my crazy friends, is what kindness and humanity is all about.
Cancer is all kinds of sucky, so it is reassuring to know that when things are all kinds of sucky, there are still good people around.
Hug your loves people, and have a great crazy day!