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Jeff Kolpack, Published March 03 2013

NDSU community supports women’s basketball player Hannah Linz as she battles Hodgkin’s lymphoma


It was Senior Day for North Dakota State women’s basketball player Hannah Linz, although she’ll remember March 2 for a different reason.

Saturday was the day Adam Hiltner popped the marriage question.

She said yes.

In the minutes following the South Dakota State game, friends and family were getting a glimpse of the ring. There was a lot to be thankful for.

While watching them surround Hannah on the Bison Sports Arena court, Linda Linz, her mother, took the word of thanks at a broader scope. She wants all of the Fargo-Moorhead community and beyond, which have helped the cause of Hannah’s battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma to know that the family is appreciative as can be.

“It’s just been overwhelming support and we’re so grateful,” Linda said.

The NDSU students have been involved with a variety of fundraisers, including a spaghetti feed and silent auction today from 5-8 p.m., at the NDSU Alumni Center.

Any Gate City Bank is accepting donations in the name of the Hannah Linz Fund. The NDSU Student-Athlete Council has raised over $18,000.

“The student body here has been phenomenal through this process,” Linda said. “I’ve sent notes to them and said I don’t care if you collect a dollar or a thousand dollars, it’s about the fact you’re going out of your way to do something for somebody else that’s going through a rough time.”

Linda said one of her favorite responses to the generosity is the pay-it-forward concept, where beneficiaries repay kindness to other parties.

“We’ll do that when it comes our time to do that for other people,” she said.

Hannah left the team in early January to deal with the cancer treatments. But she hasn’t left school.

A nursing major, she has remained on track to get her degree and already has an internship lined up at Sanford Health in May. Like the community in general, Linda said the NDSU academic staff has gone above and beyond.

“Even her classmates, there are people going out of their way to pick her up and go study,” Linda said. “Or they’ll come and study at her place and find ways to record classes for her.”

If she misses class on Monday or Tuesday because of chemotherapy treatments, she’ll make it up later in the week, Linda said.

“She’s kept on,” she said. “It’s pretty impressive. She has lots of drive.”

Linda and Robert Linz are from Watkins, Minn., located just south of St. Cloud. They are not strangers to Fargo-Moorhead – their son Luke played basketball at Concordia College from 2004-08.

Linda looks back to the day when Hannah committed to NDSU.

“When we drove away from here, we knew we wanted to be part of North Dakota State,” she said. “And honestly, the way things have worked out and the support we’ve gotten from Bison nation, I mean, it’s been everybody. In the last four years, we’ve gotten a chance to know people through all of their extended kindness and generosity and it’s not something everybody experiences. But our situation has put us in that spot.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia