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Drs. Mariko DeWire, Trent Hummel and Lionel Chow, along with the majority of Lauren Hill’s neuro-oncology team, took the Layup 4 Lauren challenge today. The challenge, spinning around five times and shooting a layup with one’s non-dominant arm, is supposed to simulate what it’s like for Lauren to play basketball. Lauren has a rare and fatal brain tumor called DIPG.
Layup 4 Lauren is a challenge that Lauren Hill’s neuro-oncology team at Cincinnati Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute was honored to take.
Not only is Lauren an inspiration to her entire care team, but her mission of raising awareness and research funding for DIPG is essential for finding a cure. With awareness comes more research funding and DIPG, along with other pediatric cancers, is in dire need.
Only four cents of every dollar the government spends on cancer research is dedicated to pediatric cancer. Then a smaller subset is allocated to brain cancer. And an even tinier percentage to uncommon brain tumors like DIPG.
We need more research funding so that we can better understand the disease in order to develop curative therapies for the 100-150 new patients diagnosed each year in the United States. We need to do better for patients like Lauren Hill.
The team challenged the following individuals to do the Layup 4 Lauren challenge next: Drs. Goldman, Fangusaro, Lulla and Smiley from Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; Santa Ono, president of the University of Cincinnati; Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute; and President Barack Obama.