CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – September 6, 2011 – Hyundai Hope on Wheels and Los Angeles area Hyundai dealers will today award Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles each with a $100,000 Hope Grant to fund childhood cancer research. Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles are two 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 on September 6 at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Local children battling cancer, as well as those who have survived their disease, will place their handprints in colorful paint on Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle. Traveling the country as part of the Hyundai Drive 4 Hope tour in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the vehicle will make an appearance at 15 of the 71 ceremonies, including both Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. 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.
“I believe that research will bring the cure to pediatric cancer, and I am really happy to have Hyundai as a partner in my quest,” Dr. Satiro De Oliveira, clinical instructor of pediatric hematology/oncology at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. “New approaches are needed for pediatric patients with leukemia and lymphoma who do not respond to the current treatments. Our project proposes a new immunotherapy treatment to develop persistent anti-leukemia immune cells from the patient’s own blood stem cells that will create a whole immune system directed to destroy cancer. This award will allow us move forward in efforts to begin clinical trials and ultimately bring hope to patients for whom current treatments are not successful.”
“Over the past 50 years we have made huge progress in curing children’s cancer” said Anat Erdreich-Epstein, Director of Basic and Translational Pediatric Brain Tumor Research at The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “All of this progress stems from research. Without research, we have no hope of advancing cancer treatments and increasing cure rates,” she noted.
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 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 Los Angeles area,” said Cherie Watters, general manager, Puente Hills 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/.