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Lauren Hill dies at 19; cancer patient inspired basketball teammates

 Lauren Hill dies at 19; cancer patient inspired basketball teammates
Lauren Hill gives a thumbs-up as she holds the game ball during her first NCAA college basketball game. (Tom Uhlman, Associated Press)

Lauren Hill, a freshman at an Ohio university who fought an inoperable brain tumor to play college basketball, has died. She was 19.

Hill died Friday at a Cincinnati hospital, according to Brooke Desserich, co-founder of Hill's nonprofit foundation, The Cure Starts Now.

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Hill's fight to not let her diagnosis dictate her final days rallied her Mount St. Joseph University team behind her and convinced the NCAA and others to move up her team's season opener in November to allow her a chance to play. She made two layups in the opening game.

Along the way, she became known simply as Lauren, someone who had a knack for encouraging others to make the most of every day by the way she persevered.

She also helped raise more than $1.5 million for cancer research.

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