February 25th, 2020 – After having issues with headaches and ear problems, Bement High School grad and current Indiana State University Junior, Lauren Gross, was diagnosed with Craniopharyngioma in 2016. But even going through treatment, multiple biopsies and surgeries, her love for the Chicago Blackhawks never wavered. Her brother, Connor Gross, reached out to the Make A Wish foundation and, in 2017, Lauren got the chance to spend the day with her beloved Blackhawks; attending practice, having lunch with her favorite players and taking in a game. That once-in-a- lifetime experience has turned into a lifesaving opportunity for Gross and her family.
Since that Make-A-Wish experience, the Blackhawks organization has maintained contact with the family about her condition. Recently, Gross’s doctor told the family about a new drug trial that would consist of at least 9 trips to Philadelphia for treatment. No easy feat due to treatment expenses and travel. It looked as if the trial might not be a possibility for Gross.
The Blackhawks organization learned about the drug trial and the hardship it would cause the family. That’s when Ducan Keith, defenceman and an alternate captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, stepped in. Keith volunteered to pay for the entire treatment for Gross through his Keith Relief Foundation. Gross was surprised with a phone call from Duncan Keith himself to tell her the good news.
Gross has qualified for the drug trial and will hopefully begin treatment soon. Hear the full story from Gross’s brother Connor in the podcast below as well as the video of her receiving the phone call from Duncan Keith.