Lauren Hill of Lawrenceburg, Ind. has given far more to us than perhaps even she realizes.
The 19-year-old, who is dying of cancer, has proven that it is not the length of life that gives it meaning but rather the quality.
Hill challenges others to make their life meaningful, no matter what obstacles we find ourselves facing.
It wasn’t easy.
"One January night, I was having a meltdown," said Hill. "I asked God if I could do anything. I didn't know what He sent me here for. I wanted to know what He sent me here for. Whatever you sent me here for, I'm ready to do.”
Lauren found her calling in spreading the word about her rare form of cancer, called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG.
Hill and her family found that because the sickness was so rare, research for this kind of cancer is terribly underfunded.
“There is such desperate need for research and funding and new drugs to battle this thing,” said Lisa Hill, Lauren’s mother. “Families should not have to go through this.”
Indeed Lauren is right when she adds “nobody should have to go through” what she is experiencing.
But Lauren Hill is taking the time, what precious time she has left, to raise awareness.
She said of her cause, "I told (God) I'd take every opportunity to speak for the kids who can't speak.”
People are not only listening to Lauren, but they are donating.
There have been a growing number of benefits for the Mount Saint Joseph University basketball player, and it’s reported that as of Sunday, more than $400,000 has been raised in Hill’s honor.
“I want to be the next Susan G. Komen," Hill said.
— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) November 24, 2014
The Susan G. Komen Foundation was founded two years after the death of its namesake, a woman who passed at just 33 years of age due to brain cancer.
Since then, it has raised more than one and a half billion dollars for breast cancer research.
Perhaps one Thanksgiving weekend decades from now, persons will be able to look back and thank Lauren Hill for her selflessness, which could very well light a spark that leads to a cure for her unique form of cancer.