SAN FRANCISCO, OAKLAND and PALO ALTO, Calif. – September 1, 2011 – Hyundai Hope on Wheels and San Francisco Bay Area dealers this week will award Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital each with a $100,000 Hope Grant to support research and programs that benefit children battling cancer. The hospitals are three of the 71 recipients of Hyundai Hope on Wheels’ 2011 Hope Grant program, where $7.1 million will be awarded to support research and programs in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The month-long program marks Hyundai Hope on Wheels’ largest donation period to-date, and will bring the total amount that the nonprofit has committed to childhood cancer, since it first began in 1998, to $43 million.
“We, at Hyundai, are thrilled to honor National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by donating Hope Grants to institutions that are creating new possibilities to support and help cure childhood cancer,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “Hyundai and our dealers will continue to support these doctors and institutions and bring attention to the disease that affects so many young people.”
The $100,000 Hope Grants will be officially presented during ceremonies held at each hospital on Sept. 1 and 2, where local children will place their colorful handprints on a canvas or Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle, commemorating their battles with cancer.
Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle will travel the country as part of the Hyundai Drive 4 Hope tour in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, making an appearance at 15 of the 71 ceremonies, including UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. By the end of September, the Tucson will have collected hundreds of handprints from children around the country, each representing a personal story about a child’s battle with this deadly disease.
“Funding from Hyundai allows our school success program, the School Reintegration Program, to create a supportive academic and social environment for pediatric cancer patients who are treated at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland,” said Pamela Orren, PhD, clinical psychologist and co-director of Children’s Hospital Oakland’s Psychology Oncology Program’s (POP) School Reintegration Program.
“The generous support from Hyundai will provide critical infrastructure needed to increase the number of pediatric cancer trials that we are able to offer our patients. As cancer therapy has evolved to focus on more targeted therapies, it is vital that we learn how to use these new drugs in our young patients,” said Steven DuBois, MD, pediatric cancer specialist in the Children’s Cancer and Blood Disease Program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.
“With this support from Hyundai, the Bass Cancer Center at Packard will be able to create a cell bank infrastructure that will help develop new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of childhood leukemia,” said Norman Lacayo, MD, assistant professor of pediatric hematology/oncology at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. “We are fortunate to have a committed corporate partner such as Hyundai helping us achieve our goal of serving as one of the foremost centers of care for children with cancer.”
For the second year in a row, Hyundai’s competitive September program allowed institutions to apply for either research or programmatic grants. The submitted proposals were then reviewed by Hyundai’s elite board of medical directors. Each of the 71 Hope Grants will help fund new pediatric cancer research projects and other programs that support children battling cancer, and will be presented during a Hope Grant ceremony that will take place at the participating institution’s campus.
“We are proud to support the promising research projects and programs coming out of hospitals based right here in the San Francisco Bay area,” said Shaun Del Grande, dealer principal, Capitol Hyundai. “Each and every colorful handprint tells a different story of courage and hope, reminding us that we can never give up on these kids and the fight to end childhood cancer.”
For more information on Hyundai Hope on Wheels’ September Hope Grant program and the 71 winning institutions, please visit http://www.hyundaihopeonwheels.org/.