(L-R): Brent Hill, Lauren Hill, Lisa Hill, Erin Hill, Nathan Hill and Sarah met Newport Aquarium’s eight African penguins.
NEWPORT, Ky. – Lauren Hill, the celebrated 19-year-old college basketball player with brain cancer, and her family took a private tour of Newport Aquarium on Sunday morning.
The Cure Starts Now Foundation arranged the event after a trip to Newport Aquarium was among the events on a family activity to-do list the Hill family submitted to the nonprofit organization.
Lauren was accompanied by her parents, Brent and Lisa, as well as her brother Nathan, sister Erin and Nathan’s girlfriend Sarah.
Posing at the Penguin Palooza exhibit.
The Hills were led through the aquarium by Newport Aquarium Animal Ambassador Ric Urban, who guided the group on a tour that lasted more than two hours.
Lauren Hill went eye to eye with Mighty Mike, a 14-foot, 800-pound alligator at Gator Alley.
Because Lauren and Lisa love penguins, the tour was capped off by a surprise trip to The Penguin House, which exhibits eight African penguins and is typically only available to the public with an additional purchase of a Penguin Encounter.
Lauren was given a painting made by Paula the penguin, as well as shark teeth the commemorate the day.
Lauren Hill received a painting made by Paula the penguin.
Lauren, who has a rare brain cancer known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), is leading a campaign to raise $1 million for The Cure Starts Now Foundation. Currently the campaign is more than halfway to that goal.
How to give: Make checks payable to “The Cure Starts Now” and mail to:
10280 Chester Road
Cincinnati, OH 45215.
All donations go directly to Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma research. The Hill family will receive an acknowledgment of the donation. Information: www.thecurestartsnow.org.
For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).
Newport Aquarium, the No. 1 aquarium in the country according to USA Today’s 10Best.com, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler in 2014 and by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.
Find us on: Facebook.com/NewportAquarium | Twitter: @NewportAquarium
One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444