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Adams: Reflections from the Memorial Service for the Super Hero Lauren Hill

There was a memorial for Lauren Hill last night. Thousands came out to the basketball arena in Cincinnati where she scored that basket back in November despite battling inoperable brain cancer.

unnamed-6They put her casket in the very spot where she scored the lay up, and put 22 on the shot clock, in honor of her number. People came from all over to pay tribute. The Hiram College women’s basketball team, who was the opponent of Lauren’s Mt.St. Joseph’s team back on November 2nd, drove 264 miles to be there in her honor.

Dr. Mariko DeWire was her doctor every step of the way. Last night she revealed that as Lauren took her final breaths Friday morning she was playing “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias.

Would you dance if I asked you to dance?
Or would you run and never look back?
Would you cry if you saw me crying?
And would you save my soul tonight?
Would you tremble if I touched your lips?
Or would you laugh? Oh, please tell me this.

Now would you die for the one you love?
Oh hold me in your arms tonight.
I can be your hero baby
I can kiss away the pain
I will stand by you forever
You can take my breath away

Would you swear that you’ll always be mine
Or would you lie? Would you run and hide?
Am I in too deep? Have I lost my mind?
I don’t care. You’re here tonight
I can be your hero baby
I can kiss away the pain
I will stand by you forever
You can take my breath away

Lauren, who died Friday morning at the age of 19 from a rare form of brain cancer, always wanted to be a super hero. She felt her uniform from playing in those four college games was a super hero uniform, and she had special capes made up when she learned of a little boy named Luke Knapke, who has two inoperable brain tumors.

unnamed-7She visited him often.

If there was a quote Lauren lived by, it was this one by the man who played Super Man:

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Christopher Reeve
Pastor Corey Potts spoke at the Memorial. Lauren and her family attended his church Trinity Christian Center in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

“Lauren had a pivotal moment in her life that she realized that there was a calling placed on her to be a voice for those who didn’t have that,” he said. “Each and every one of us have a design and calling from God himself, and if we can focus on that and transform our lives to fulfill that calling that he’s placed on us, this world has no chance but to change.”

“I know that when we look at Lauren we see that character of strength and perseverance and courage and I don’t know how she found that other than through her faith in God,” Potts said.

“We talk in our services about the hope of heaven and the hope of God that he can heal now or he can ultimately heal in heaven, and that’s what we rejoice and celebrate today as we remember Lauren.”

Dr. DeWire, who was by her side at the very end, said Lauren taught her how to be brave. Last night, she shared what BRAVE stood for, for Lauren.

The B is she is a believer foremost in God,” Dr. DeWire said. “As printed on one of her T-shirts, ‘Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’
“The R stands for radical game-changer. She has revealed to us that one person can make a difference. Her face and voice represents all the patients who have faced DIPG.

“The A identified Lauren as an awesome artist. She expressed her feelings and thoughts through words, music, drawings and paintings. One of her favorite pieces of art was from high school of the Northern Lights and her hope to see them in person someday. Upon her diagnosis, she painted a canvas with bright colors of what she envisioned of the tumor and how she would attack the tumor through art.

“The V stands for victorious hero. She is a victorious hero in how she faced the diagnosis and continued to live out her life. She was determined to beat DIPG by taking charge and not allowing the diagnosis to impact her life and life’s mission. Her stubbornness and determination were the foundations to help her win and become victorious.

“E represents her everlasting legacy. Lauren has forever changed the face of DIPG. Her mission to increase awareness has now been completed. Now she holds all of us accountable to move the field of research at a rapid pace resulting in a cure. We, the neuro-oncology community, as she quotes, will ‘never give up’ until we can tell families and patients that a cure is possible. We are honored and committed to carry out Lauren’s legacy.

Lauren lived her life by these foundations:

Play big — it’s not how big you are, but how big you play.

Leave nothing unsaid to those you love.

Find the light in every moment.

Never give up!

Find something to fight for.

Chase your dreams and don’t let anything hold you back from living your life.

Live in the moment.

Be selfless.

Realize material items can never match the value of the time you have with the ones you love.

Trust in God and that we are all here for a greater cause.

Remember to laugh at yourself.

Be yourself and don’t let others change you.

Stay 22 Strong!




Peak Performance speaker Charlie Adams is a 1980 grad of Lafayette High who is an Ole Miss alum. His new motivational keynote More Than a Miracle is a powerful description of the greatest moment in United Sports history. He shares how a group of college kids upset the best team in hockey history in Lake Placid in the winter of 1980, and galvanized America along the way.

“I literally had to choke back tears about 5 times during this Talk. Now I now feel as if I can do anything! ANYTHING!!” – Christopher Pataro, lawyer

“As powerful a motivational talk as I have heard in 40 years.” – Bob Bayliss, former tennis coach at Notre Dame and Navy

Charlie can be reached at charlie@stokethefirewithin.com

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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