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V Foundation donates for brain cancer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The V Foundation for Cancer Research is paying tribute to the inspiring story of Lauren Hill, announcing a $100,000 donation to pediatric brain cancer research.

The donation is in honor of Hill, the 19-year-old Mount St. Joseph's women's basketball player who is battling an inoperable brain tumor.

The check presentation was made at halftime of Saturday's Jimmy V Women's Classic matchup between No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Connecticut at Purcell Pavilion. Hill was unable to attend, but videotaped a statement from her home, expressing her appreciation.

"I just wanted to give a big shout-out and a big thanks to the V Foundation. That's huge and very helpful, and it's an enormous contribution that I'm really happy and excited for," Hill said in the statement, which was shown at halftime on the big screen. "Thanks to everybody that continues to support my cause and my mission."

Hill, now in hospice care, became a national story last month when she played for Mount St. Joseph on Nov. 2 in Cincinnati in front of a sold-out crowd and a national television audience, fulfilling her dream of playing college basketball. She played in a second game against Bethany College on Nov. 21.

Hill's family announced earlier this week that it was bringing in hospice care for its daughter, who is battling Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Her symptoms have intensified over recent weeks. Earlier this fall, Hill and her family were told she would only have several more months to live.

Hill's story has prompted an outpouring of support and admiration throughout the sports world, with athletes such as Diana Taurasi, Pat Summitt and LeBron James expressing their support through social media.

"Lauren's spirit and bravery are an inspiration to us all. In honor of her courage, The V Foundation is going to make a special grant of $100,000 to fund cutting-edge brain cancer research," said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation.

Hill's efforts on behalf of research and awareness of pediatric brain cancer through her foundation called "The Cure Starts Now" have raised more than $350,000, according to the foundation website. Hill's goal is to raise $1 million.

Saturday's game was a highlight of the eighth annual Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research. Last year, Jimmy V week raised more than $1.8 million.