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Closer to Free

We’re Getting Closer to Free – Thanks to These Employees

Every year, hundreds of Yale New Haven employees participate in the Closer to Free (CTF) ride to support Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center. Meet some of these inspiring employees; and consider joining them for the Sept. 7 CTF event as a rider, volunteer or supporter. All YNHHS employee riders pay a registration fee of just $50 for adults and $25 for students/youth (a 50 percent discount). Use the code EMPLOYEE24 and provide your employee ID number at registration. Register and learn more at

Katie Winkle, RN, pediatric oncology nurse, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital

“My favorite part of the ride is the Smilow Salute. There’s no greater feeling than seeing your patients, coworkers and all of those patients currently undergoing treatment and cheering you on. It puts life into perspective; you get on that bike and ride your heart out for these patients who inspire you every shift you work … every day. To be able to give back to a hospital that gave me a second chance at life is something I’ll forever be so grateful for. I ride so one day no one needs to hear the words ‘You have cancer’ at age 13. I ride for my patients, my family, my close friends and my wonderful healthcare community at YNHH who have helped me overcome cancer. I look forward to the second week in September every year and supporting Smilow and Team Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer. It’s one of my most favorite times of the year. Until there’s a cure, I will ride!”