Two of the year's most inspirational sports figures came together for a touching jersey swap in Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Lauren Hill, 19, is a college freshman and member of the basketball team at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. Hill suffers from terminal brain cancer and doesn't have much time left. But Hill's bleak health outlook hasn't squandered her hoop dreams, as Hill will play her last game as Mount St. Joseph University takes on Hiram College in the season opener on November 2.
Hill's inspirational story captured the national spotlight, and even the attention of another high profile Cincinnati athlete with an inspirational cancer story of his own. Devon Still, defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, was kept on the Bengals' practice roster earlier this season so the player could keep his health insurance and pay for his four-year-old daughter's cancer treatments. Still's story captured the heart of the nation, and through the power of social media, everyone was rooting Leah to beat cancer.
On Tuesday, Still made the trek down to Mount. St. Joseph University to surprise Lauren Hill following her basketball team's practice. Still and Hill exchanged jerseys in a touching moment, with the Bengal providing the basketball player with an autographed jersey bearing the message "Beat cancer."
Tickets for Hill's game against Hiram College on November 2 went on sale October 22 but sold out in less than two hours, due to overwhelming public support from the community. Still and his daughter Leah still continue to captivate the nation, with his Instagram photos of Leah receiving tens of thousands of likes.
During the Bengals game against the New England Patriots on October 5, the Patriots cheerleading squad donned Devon Still jerseys, a touching message of embrace and support for his daughter Leah.