NCAA player praises God in despite of brain tumor: 'God has the last say'

Lauren Hill(Photo: The Cure Starts Now Foundation)

College freshman Lauren Hill was diagnosed 14 months ago with an incurable form of brain cancer, but she refuses to give up. The 19-year-old relies on her faith to sustain her through her darkest moments.

Hill has Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a tumor of the brainstem that primarily affects children. According to the DIPG Registry, less than 10 percent of children with the disease survive beyond two years from their diagnosis.

The Mt. St. Joseph University basketball player has days where she suffers from debilitating migraines and dizziness, and must use a wheelchair. "My body is shutting down, and there's nothing I can do,'' she told USA Today Sports in a recent interview.

"I haven't been feeling good," she admitted. "I have hour spurts when I feel fine and I can walk normal and stuff. Other hours, I'm wobbling. I feel like there's somebody behind me kicking my legs out from underneath me. The whole tumor symptom thing is crazy. It's unpredictable. It really messes with your life."

With her whole life ahead of her, Hill said she was initially angry about her diagnosis.

"Why does this happen to me?" she asked. "Why does it happen to anybody? I believe God has the last say. And I feel like I've accomplished what I intended."

Hill has raised over $500,000 for DIPG research, and asked God to use her disease for His benefit.

"Last January, I said to God I'll do anything to be a voice for this cancer and all the kids that can't speak their symptoms," she explained. "Parents are left baffled, because they don't know what's wrong with their kids. (Kids) can't express what's happening to them.

"I prayed I'd be the voice and that I'd do anything that gave me an opportunity to raise awareness and raise research money."

The Lauren Hill Tribute Fund has a $1 million fundraising goal. Donations can be made on The Cure Starts Now Foundation website.