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Lion Heart is committed to finding a cure for breast cancer. Founded and led by Kathleen van Rijn, Lion Heart supports Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven and the Yale Cancer Center by endowing breast cancer research grants.


In 2024, Lion Heart continues to make a difference!


Lion Heart Walk

Lion Heart's original fundraiser is the Lion Heart team walk and dinner, which is held in New York City every September. At the team dinner the Lion Heart researchers present their work.

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Lion Heart raises funds with Lap-a-Thons. These swimming events are held across Connecticut in January and October and are led by SCC swim coaches, 16 girls and 17 boys swimming/diving teams.

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Other Activities

Many Lion Hearts find their own creative ways to raise funds by establishing fund raising teams to support Lion Heart. Feel free to set up your own team and fundraise for Lion Heart.

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In 2023, Lion Heart raised over $150,000 and since its inception, the team has raised over $ 1,650,000. Every dollar raised matters. Lion Heart has no overhead costs. All our funding goes directly to the researchers awarded our Lion Heart grants. Lion Heart receives applications for research grants from Yale Cancer Center researchers looking for pilot funding to begin interesting new avenues of exploration.

In December 2023, Lion Heart awarded its twelfth series of research grants. The funds raised by Lion Heart team members have the potential to aid breakthrough research and truly make a difference. Lion Heart’s goal is to help find a cure for breast cancer through its support of Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven.

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