Lauren Hill defies odds again, pushes to reach $1 million goal for cancer research by New Year's Eve

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |
A Dec. 27 event at Perfect North Slopes honoring Lauren Hill and attended by Olympic skier Nick Goepper raised money for The Cure Starts Now Foundation. | The Cure Starts Now Facebook page

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. (Christian Examiner) -- Doctor's told terminally ill basketball player Lauren Hill she wouldn't make it to Christmas. Yet a brief scroll down "Lauren's Fight for Cure" Facebook page this weekend tells a different story since the 19-year-old college freshman with brain cancer is out of hospice care and making rounds to raise money for cancer research.

From a Roller Derby scrimmage game at The Skatin' Place in Cincinnati Ohio to Perfect North Slopes in her hometown of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, the courageous, "never-quit" Hill is taking her push-through approach to reach one of her final life goals -- to raise $1 million for The Cure Starts Now by Dec. 31.

According to ABC affiliate RTV 6 Hill, who was declared an "honorary coach" by Mt. St. Joseph's coach Dan Benjamin earlier this month, has raised more than $730,000 toward her goal.

Hill's mother Lisa announced in a Facebook post over the holiday that Lauren's condition continues to progress with both "good moments and bad," Fox Sports reported. In a Christmas Eve update, Lisa described an incident caused by Lauren's trouble breathing.

"Thankfully it was just a panic attack from the pain and heavy feeling in her chest after she woke up from a nap. After some meds and oxygen she was much better," she wrote.

In addition to the big push to raise roughly $200,000 over the next three days, Hill made a video for National Hospice Awareness to provide insight about what hospice care means for her family.

"Some folks have such a hard time with the word 'hospice'," Hill's mother said."We see it as extra players on our medical team that keep a closer eye on Lauren's progress for the doctor."

In the video, Hill credits her hospice nurses with helping her stay on her feet so that she can make outings like those pictured on her Facebook page over the weekend. Her efforts to raise money to cure the rare disease she faces called DIPG (Diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontene Glioma) are driven by her hope to find a home-run cure that would wipe out all cancer.

"I'm just making the most of my moments, trying to make an impact and spread awareness" so that others don't have to go through a similar journey, she said.