College basketball player dies at 19 after battle with brain cancer

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DEARBORN COUNTY, INDIANA – The young woman who wouldn’t let a rare, terminal form of brain cancer stop her from playing college basketball, has died.

Lauren Hill passed away Friday morning, at the age of 19.

Hill, who played for a small college in Cincinnati, was diagnosed while she was a senior in high school, but instead of falling to pieces and giving up, she worked even harder to achieve her dream.

“I never gave up for a second, even when they told me I had a terminal diagnosis,” she said back in October 2014, “I never for a second thought about sitting down and just not living life anymore.”

Off the court, Lauren raised more than a million dollars to help fight all kinds of brain cancer, including the type that claimed her life.

Cancer.org estimates there will be over 1.6 million new cancer cases diagnosed in 2015 in the U.S., with over 589,000 deaths.

When high-profile people are affected, it helps start a national conversation.

Taylor Swift is the latest celebrity to come forward with a very personal story.

Her mother has been diagnosed with cancer.

She declined to elaborate about the type of cancer, but in a statement written on her Tumblr account, she explains she asked her mother to get a checkup for Christmas, just to ease her mind.

To everyone’s surprise, the results came back with the dreaded news.

Swift is urging everyone to get checked for cancer, even if you feel perfectly healthy, like her mother.

“For women, we recommend for cervical cancer to begin at age 21, breast cancer to begin screening at age 40, and colorectal cancer screening to begin at age 50,” said Therese Bevers, M.D., of MD Anderson cancer center, “For men, we recommend prostate cancer screening and colorectal screening to begin at age 50.”

However, if you have a family history of cancer, like Angelina Jolie for instance, you should begin screening earlier, and do it often.

Remember, cancer does not have to mean an automatic death sentence.

An early diagnosis could save your life.

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