The V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation’s leading cancer research funding organizations, and ESPN are honored to announce a grant of $100,000 to fund pediatric brain cancer research in honor of Lauren Hill, the Mount St. Joseph University women’s basketball student-athlete who has courageously shared her fight against cancer with the world. The donation will be presented by ESPN and The V Foundation during the Jimmy V Women’s Basketball Classic Presented by Corona when No. 3-ranked Connecticut plays at No. 2 Notre Dame on Saturday, December 6, 2014. The Jimmy V Women’s Basketball Classic is a highlight of the eighth annual Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research, which began on December 3 and will culminate with the Jimmy V Men’s Basketball Classic Presented by Corona on December 9. Last year’s Jimmy V Week raised $1.8 million, bringing the seven-year total of contributions to more than $8.2 million.
“We have never been more proud of our relationship with The V Foundation,” said Kevin Martinez, Vice President of Corporate Outreach at ESPN. “Their suggestion to make a donation on behalf of Lauren, her family and the perseverance they have demonstrated only strengthens our support of them. Their understanding of the sports community, and the actions that they take every day to fight this horrible disease inspires all of us.”
In November, Mount St. Joseph freshman Lauren Hill inspired a national audience when she scored the first and last baskets in her team’s season-opening win over Hiram College. Diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) shortly after committing to play for Mount St. Joseph, Hill set a goal to play on her college basketball team and has used the outpouring of national support to raise awareness of the rare and aggressive form of pediatric brain cancer.
“Lauren’s spirit and bravery are an inspiration to us all. In honor of her courage, The V Foundation is going to make a special grant of $100,000 to fund cutting edge brain cancer research,” said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation for Cancer Research. “We have also established a page on our website, www.jimmyv.org/lauren for those who wish to contribute to increase the amount of the grant. We send our heartfelt support to Lauren and her family and pledge to do everything in our power to put an end to cancer.”
Embodying the message of Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPY Awards speech, Hill will be honored during the Jimmy V Women’s Basketball Classic for her “Don’t Give Up… Don’t Ever Give Up!,” ® spirit. Included in the special presentation, a video message from ESPN and The V Foundation, as well as the participating coaches Geno Auriemma of Connecticut and Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame, will offer encouragement and support as Hill begins hospice care for her inoperable tumor. A rematch of last year’s national championship game, Connecticut will face Notre Dame on December 6 at 3:15 p.m. on ESPN.
Founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late N.C. State men’s basketball coach Jim Valvano, The V Foundation has funded more than $130 million in cancer research grants nationwide. The V Foundation recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most utilized independent evaluator of charities, for sound fiscal management as well as commitment to accountability and transparency. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations to cancer research and related programs.
For more information about The V Foundation for Cancer Research, or to make a donation to celebrate Lauren Hill, please visit www.jimmyv.org/lauren.
About The V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has funded more than $130 million in cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations to cancer research and related programs. Due to generous donors, the Foundation has an endowment that covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process vetted by a Scientific Advisory Committee. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.