Lauren Hill, the college freshman who saw her dream of playing college basketball come true last fall despite battling an inoperable brain tumor, is getting her own trading card.
Since her diagnosis, Lauren has helped raise more than $1.4 million in the fight against pediatric brain cancer. Although she played just 47 seconds in Mt. St. Joseph’s opening victory over Hiram, she scored the game’s first points on a lay-up in a game that generated international headlines and was played in front of a sellout crowd amid huge media attention. It was an emotional afternoon, but it created awareness for the fundraising campaign the teenager continues to work on.
Fans of Lauren can get her Upper Deck rookie card for $10 or an authentic signed version for $50 all through The Cure Starts Now Foundation’s online store.
Hill was eventually unable to continue playing, but recently hosted team members at her home as the season wound to a close.
“My goal has always been to play and contribute to the Mount St. Joseph women’s basketball team, but never could I have imagined I would have my very own Upper Deck rookie card,” she said. “It is an honor to be recognized like this and I am so happy my story has inspired hope. I hope those who have been touched by my story will want to collect my Upper Deck rookie card, especially knowing that all the proceeds from the cards will go to help The Cure Starts Now Foundation.”
The back of Lauren’s Heroic Inspirations card includes a message in Lauren’s own words along with a “Hero IH” number and an invitation to support her fundraising activities.
“It has been really moving to see the awareness Lauren Hill has created for The Cure Starts Now and our mission over the last few months,” said Brooke Desserich, executive director at The Cure Starts Now Foundation. “It is amazing how positive patients can be who are battling this disease, but what Lauren has done is truly incredible.”
This is not the first time Upper Deck has created a special card for a child with pediatric brain cancer. In 2013 Upper Deck created a “Star Rookie” trading card for young Nebraskan Jack Hoffman, who was able to fulfill a childhood dream by running a touchdown for his favorite collegiate team during their spring game. Proceeds from the sale of his cards helped raise over $50,000 to date for the Team Jack Foundation. In 2014 Upper Deck worked with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to honor Jaclyn Murphy and Jack Miller who have battled pediatric brain cancer.
“Lauren Hill is the type of athlete that deserves a trading card and we wanted to do everything we could to see it happen as soon as possible,” said Chris Carlin, senior marketing manager for Upper Deck. “The cards we are creating are more than a collectible keepsake, they are a tribute to her courage and a tool to create awareness for this great cause. We are passionate about leveraging the power of the Upper Deck brand to help shine a light on her incredible story and the tremendous work of The Cure Starts Now Foundation.”