Monday, October 27, 2014

Remember how good you have it

When Mount St. Joseph University opens it's women's basketball season next month, the opening game will be unforgettable, no matter who wins. For one incoming freshman from Lawrenceburg, IN, taking the floor will fulfill the dream of a lifetime, if she lives that long.

When she was 18 and a senior at Lawrenceburg High, Lauren Hill learned she had an inoperable brain tumor. Doctors gave her two years to live, at the most. Her parents were crushed by the news, but Lauren only wanted to know one thing, "Can I still play basketball?"

On Oct. 1, her 19th birthday, Lauren's Mount St. Joseph teammates gave her a surprise party after practice. She told her coach she wanted to play at least one college game. "She's so strong," said Coach Dan Benjamin. "She's dealing with death and thinking about everyone else instead. Her family and her team come first."

The game was scheduled for Nov. 15, but the NCAA made an exception, and  the game was moved from opponent Hiram College to Nov. 1 at the Xavier Cintas Center. "These games usually attract about 50 fans," said Coach Benjamin. But the Center has 10,000 seats, and was sold out in less than two hours.

"What keeps me going in remembering why I"m here," says Lauren. "One January night I was having a meltdown. I asked God what he sent me here for. I said, 'Whatever you sent me here for, I'm ready to do.'"

Lauren is dignified, poised and composed. Like many facing death, she's impossibly wise. She owns an inner peace.What she's here for is to remind us how good we have it, and that we need to make that goodness matter, not for us, but for everyone, and not tomorrow, but today.

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