Imagine Dragons to Host Pediatric Cancer Charity Gala
The Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF) is following up on their successful first gala hosted by Imagine Dragons with a second event at the Four Seasons Las Vegas in September.

Along with an acoustic performance by Imagine Dragons, the following corporation and individuals will be honored with a 2015 TRF Humanitarian Award: Hamish Dodds, CEO, Hard Rock; Jonathan Agin, childhood cancer advocate, lobbyist, and writer; Lauren Hill, former Mount St. Joseph’s University women’s basketball player; Mikaela Shiffrin, U.S. Ski Team member; and Geoffrey Alintoff, Youth Fundraiser of the Year. This esteemed award is given to individuals and organizations who have directly benefitted pediatric cancer families and/or the mission of The Tyler Robinson Foundation.

“This year’s TRF Humanitarian Award winners exemplify the remarkable, dedicated people who have made sacrifices to further the cause of pediatric cancer children and their struggling families,” said Mac Reynolds, TRF Chairman of the Board and Imagine Dragons’ manager.

Lauren Hill learned last fall that a brain disease would kill her in less than two years. 

“I wasn’t playing normally,” she said. “I was dizzy and disoriented and wobbling around and not catching balls.” Lauren, a standout at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) High School, originally committed to play for Mount St. Joseph’s in Cincinatti on her 18th birthday. Less than two months later, Hill was diagnosed with DIPG (diffuse intrinsic potine glioma), a cancer of the brainstem that primarily affects children. Lauren’s diagnosis was terminal, but her first question wasn’t about her illness, it was about her future as an athlete. “Can I still play basketball?”

Her courage and fighting spirit in the face of insurmountable odds surprised few who knew her. According to her Mount St. Joseph coach, Zane White, “the same kind of focus she is showing at living is the kind of effort she gave playing basketball. She’s never lost any of her positivity or tenaciousness.” 

Last month, an MRI revealed that her tumor had grown and that she probably would not make it to the end of the year. That timeline was devastating for Lauren and her family, but to make things worse, it also likely meant that Lauren would not get to realize her dream of taking the court, wearing #22 for Mount St. Joseph — the team’s schedule was set to open away on Nov. 15. 

In a turn of good fortune, the NCAA granted Mount St. Joseph’s request to move the game up to Nov. 2 at home. As her story circulated, support for Lauren and her wish to play one last time became overwhelming. Tickets for the game at Mount St. Joseph sold out in minutes and the game was moved to the Xavier Cintas Center, where it sold out again. 

If all goes well, Lauren will have the chance to put on her No. 22 jersey and take the floor one last time in front of a packed house. 

“I still love the roar of the crowd and the bounding of the balls and the squeaking of the shoes and people working hard and fighting,” Lauren said. “And I Just can’t wait to be standing on this court in a basketball uniform, with the No. 22.”  

#1More4Lauren website

Numerous broadcast networks will be airing Lauren’s game live Sunday, Nov 2nd at 2 PM ET/11 AM PST.

Live: Sunday, November 2nd at 2 PM ET/ 11 AM PST

Check your local listings here

Learn more about DIPG here

A couple weeks ago while working for the PAC-12 Network, I decided to spend some down time shooting the Oregon Women’s Basketball team at their final home game of the regular season. This is senior Ariel Thomas as she prepares to shoot a free throw. A great crowd turned out to watch Thomas’ final game as an Oregon Duck. Congrats on an incredible run.