Birmingham, Alabama – September 5, 2012 – Hyundai Hope On Wheels and Birmingham-area Hyundai dealers will today award University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology at Children’s of Alabama with a $250,000 Hope Grant to support research focused on minimizing the harmful side effects of stem cell transplantation in treating leukemia in children. UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology is one of 41 recipients of Hope On Wheels’ 2012 Hyundai Hope Grants. In all, $10.25 million will be awarded in grants during the month of September in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
To improve the odds in the fight for a cure, Hope On Wheels raised its Hyundai Hope Grant award amount this year from $100,000 to $250,000. The month-long program marks Hope On Wheels’ largest research grant donation period to date. It will bring the total amount that the nonprofit has committed to childhood cancer to $57 million since it first began in 1998.
In its third annual September campaign, Hope On Wheels again opened its competitive grant program to all Children’s Oncology Group institutions. Every proposal received was reviewed by Hope On Wheels’ Medical Advisory Committee, comprised of leading pediatric oncologists from around the country.
“The Hyundai Hope on Wheels grant program is setting a new benchmark for corporate support of childhood cancer research and treatment in the United States,” noted Dr. Raymond Watts, Director of the UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. “This nationwide competition pits the finest of pediatric cancer researchers competing for these prestigious and generous grants. We are proud that our own Dr. Joseph Chewning has been honored for his innovative work.”
Dr. Chewning emphasized the importance of the funded research: “Acute leukemia remains the most common form of childhood cancer. Significant advances in basic and clinical research have led to an improvement in survival; however, many of these children still experience disease relapse. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is an important therapeutic option for children with high-risk or relapsed leukemia. Our studies are focused on the development of specific cellular therapies to augment the anti-leukemia effect of transplant. The Hyundai Hope on Wheels grant will enable our work to continue in the pursuit of novel therapies for children diagnosed with leukemia.”
Each of the Hyundai Hope Grants will be presented to winning institutions at a signature Handprint Ceremony. This ceremony captures the colorful handprints of young cancer patients and places them on a white 2012 Hyundai Tucson, the official vehicle of the program. Every Handprint Ceremony celebrates the lives of the children faced with cancer and commemorates their brave battles with cancer.
“At Hyundai, our goal is for a child to never again have to hear the words ‘you have cancer’,” said John Krafcik, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “Through the support of our dealers, hospital partners, and online community, this goal is attainable as we join together for a cure. We congratulate and commend each institution for their important and life-changing work, and thank our supporters for their continued efforts.”
For more information on Hyundai Hope On Wheels and its efforts during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, please visit HyundaiHopeonWheels.org.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 800 dealerships nationwide.
HYUNDAI HOPE ON WHEELS
Hyundai Hope On Wheels® is the united effort of Hyundai Motor America and its more than 800 dealers across the U.S. to raise awareness for childhood cancer and to celebrate the lives of children battling the disease. For 2012, Hyundai Hope On Wheels plans to surpass $57 million in total donations to childhood cancer research since the program began in 1998. Hyundai Hope On Wheels is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.