We can all be responsible members of society and give back to the community.
This is NOT a post about a major team sport or about a famous athlete or a famous celebrity or a famous business leader. It is also NOT about the misdeeds going on in the world. Rather, it is about how true heroes can help to bring us together as a society. This post is about Pete Fretas and the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” and cancer victim Lauren Hill’s quest to play college basketball.
For several months, we’ve been following the uplifting story of the “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Do you know the origin of the challenge? It’s sports-related: Pete Frates, a Bostonian who was diagnosed with ALS in March 2012, is credited with initiating the challenge. Pete was a baseball player and team captain at Boston college, where he graduated in 2007. He then played baseball in Germany, where he also coached. His story was featured on ESPN.
To date, donations made to the ALS Association as a result of the challenge have totaled $22 million. And if you type in “ice bucket challenge” at YouTube, you will find more than 18 million entries. The Simpsons’ entry alone has generated 24 million views.
Lauren Hill has inoperable brain cancer. As reported by Alyssa Roenigk for ESPN:
“Hill is that woman you’ve heard about somewhere, maybe on ESPN, maybe on Facebook, maybe in the newspaper, perhaps on early morning TV. She’s the college freshman basketball player who was diagnosed with brain cancer her senior year of high school, after deciding to attend Division III Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. She’s the girl whose parents, after her tumor spread and she was given only a few months to live, worked with her college coach, the opposing team’s coach, and the NCAA to move her team’s opening game up by two weeks in the hopes that she will still be strong enough to suit up for one collegiate game. The 19-year-old has been giving interviews and fighting publicly in the hopes of bringing attention to the rare form of brain cancer from which she will die. And she’s the girl whose story garnered so much attention that the site of Mount St. Joe’s Sunday game against Hiram College was moved to Xavier University’s Cintas Center, and the 10,000-seat arena sold out within a day.”
“But Hill is more than that freshman you heard about somewhere. She’s also a daughter to Lisa and Brent, and a big sister to Erin, 14, and Nathan, 17. She’s a soccer fan, has a creative eye, and loves music, all types of music, just not screamo. She’s a fan of the Harlem Globetrotters, was painfully shy before her diagnosis, and is a wiz with Photoshop. She likes to shoot videos and edit them for her family, and you know that image that’s been going around online, the one of Lauren standing with her hands on her hips in her high school uniform, the one that was shot from behind and adorns #1More4Lauren images on Twitter? She designed that herself. ‘I’m really proud of that,’ Hill said.