In its newest rounds of grants marking its 20th anniversary, Hyundai Hope On Wheels® (HHOW), a California based 501c(3) non-profit organization announces its support for national Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The annual September campaign is called “Every Handprint Tells A Story.” A total of 38 doctor-researchers will receive a combined $14.1 million to support novel therapeutic approaches and innovative research options in pediatric cancer. Childhood cancer researchers depend largely on private funding for groundbreaking therapies to get off the ground and to advance treatment approaches to the next phase of testing, ultimately, bringing better therapies and cures to kids with cancer.
Every 36 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. While nearly 80% of cancer in children can be cured, pediatric cancer remains the leading disease related cause of death for children. This year’s pediatric cancer research grants from HHOW deliver on its decades-long commitment to support the most promising childhood cancer research throughout the nation. 24 of the 38 grant recipient hospitals are ranked within the Top 50 of U.S. News & World Reports Best Hospitals for Pediatric Cancer, with two institutions claiming the #2 and #3 rankings.
“Our aim is to focus on funding research with the best potential of giving kids the healthy childhoods they deserve,” says Brian Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Hyundai Motor America. “We’re humbled to say that we’ve now funded more than $145 million dollars since 1998 to support lifesaving childhood cancer research towards finding a cure. This achievement is made possible by the collective efforts of our amazing dealers, volunteers and supporters across the nation. Together, we are leading the charge to end childhood cancer.”
Every Handprint Tells A Story Campaign
Beginning today, HHOW demonstrates its commitment with visits to local children’s hospitals across the country to honor the brave children and their families on the frontline of this disease, and to present research grant awards. Visits will include HHOW’s signature Handprint Ceremony, where local children battling cancer will dip their hands in paint and place their handprints on a white 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe – the official Hope Vehicle.
As “Every Handprint Tells a Story,” the colorful handprints of brave pediatric cancer fighters represent their individual and collective hopes, dreams and journeys. From now through the end of September, the Hope Vehicle will travel nationwide to honor kids battling cancer, raise awareness of the disease, and to inspire hope toward a cure.
During this time, the public is invited to join the campaign. Supporters are encouraged to visit the HHOW website (www.HyundaiHopeOnWheels.org/national-childhood-cancer-awareness-month) to view stories of brave cancer survivors and passionate doctor-researchers. Once there, supporters may add their handprint to a wall of hope to show their support for the cause. They will also find information on additional ways to support HHOW through social media efforts and events throughout the month.
Other campaign activities include:
- A unique campaign video which summaries the organization’s September initiative (here)
- A video series of with pediatric cancer survivors and doctor research sharing stories of hope
- Daily social media posts with stories of courage and determination of child cancer fighters
- Pediatric Cancer Thought Leaders’ Summit and Symposia in Washington, DC, and Anaheim, CA
- Pop-up Handprint Events in Orange County, CA, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Boston
- HHOW DC Days event with elected officials and policy makers in Washington, DC
- The Jimmy Fund Walk of the Boston Marathon, presented by Hyundai
- HHOW Run-4-Hope 5K–10K Run/Walk, Fountain Valley, CA
- New York Times Square unique billboard message for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month
- Custom window decals for all Hyundai vehicle owners
Origins of Hope
With its humble start in 1998 by Hyundai and its U.S. dealers, HHOW is now one of the longest running and leading Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in the auto industry dedicated to helping kids fight cancer. The program was begun in the Boston, MA area and quickly spread to support children’s hospitals throughout the U.S. The program’s goal remains to support research grants to help find cures and to improve patient care outcomes.
“A key priority for Hyundai dealers is to give back to society and to make sure children have the best possible future for success. We believe that future should be in a world that is free from pediatric cancer,” says Scott Fink, Board Chair and Hyundai dealer owner, Hyundai of New Port Richey. “We know that progress has been made in finding cures for pediatric cancer. Our HHOW grants have paved the way for innovative therapies and new treatments. Hyundai dealers across the nation are proud to support this important cause. Yet our work is not over, and you can count on us to remain committed to this fight for as long as it takes.”
Funding Research to Find A Cure
Thirty-eight (38) new doctor-researchers will receive a combined $14.1 million in pediatric cancer research grants now through the month of September. This is in addition to 21 grants totaling $2.1 million gifted to other children’s hospitals earlier this year.
HHOW offers pediatric cancer research grants for Children’s Oncology of America member institutions in the U.S. The grant winners are chosen by a peer-reviewed and competitive selection process. There are five HHOW grant categories: Impact Grant ($100,000), Young Investigator Grant ($200,000), Hyundai Scholar Hope Grant ($300,000), Hyundai Quantum Grant ($1 million) and the new Quantum Collaboration Grant ($2.5 million). Applications are graded by a panel of scientific reviewers for their innovative potential to increase discovery.
Hyundai Quantum Grant Award
The Hyundai Quantum Grant is HHOW’s largest grant category. The Hyundai Quantum awards range from $2.5 million to $1 million and these grants support research on pediatric cancers with low survival rates. This year’s four winning researchers and institutions are:
- Dr. Julia Glade-Bender of Columbia University, who will receive a $2.5 million Collaboration Grant to study new approaches for treating Osteosarcoma. A collaborative partnership consisting of Columbia, Dana Farber, UC San Francisco, and Memorial Sloan Kettering will execute the research.
- Dr. Richard Vile of Mayo Clinic Children’s Center who will study brain tumors in children.
- Dr. Todd Druley of St. Louis Children’s Hospital Washington University who will study Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in children.
- Dr. Joshua Schiffman of Primarily Children’s Hospital who will conduct Osteosarcoma research.
National Youth Ambassadors
This year, we are pleased to welcome two new National Youth Ambassadors: Elizabeth Blair, 12 years old, of Phoenix, AZ and Carter Gates, 13 years old, of Colorado Springs, CO. These two incredible pediatric cancer survivors will travel the country for the next two years sharing their message of hope. They not only fought pediatric cancer, but they continue to win in life. Click this video to learn more about Elizabeth and Carter.
US Youth Soccer National League
The US Youth Soccer National League and HHOW have joined forces in September to co-promote Pediatric Cancer Awareness month. Youth players, coaches and fans will participate in a “Game Day Experience” during the month to drive awareness for children fighting cancer. Players and supporters are encouraged to wear gold ribbons, headbands, and wristbands to spread awareness for the fight to end childhood cancer.