Hyundai Hope On Wheels® and Portland-area Hyundai dealers have awarded OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital a $250,000 Hyundai Hope Grant for pediatric cancer research. The grant funds will support the work of Monika Davare, Ph.D., a research instructor whose research is focused on determining whether a gene called ROS1 drives the growth of medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer, and evaluating the efficacy of targeted drugs as a novel treatment option for these tumors.
OHSU Doernbecher is one of 41 recipients of Hope On Wheels’ 2013 Hyundai Hope Grants. In all, Hope On Wheels will award $10.25 million in grants this September in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The donation is part of Hope On Wheels’ annual September Campaign celebrating National Cancer Awareness Month, as a well as a new effort by Hyundai to thank its millions of owners who have helped Hope On Wheels raise more than $72 million in pediatric cancer research funding in the past 15 years. Hyundai Hope Grants fund research projects with the greatest potential to improve the lives of children battling cancer. Since 2005 OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital has received $830,000 from Hope On Wheels.
“Advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer growth and the development of targeted drugs have paved an innovative path for how we treat cancer,” said Davare. “As a result, the prognoses of patients with many types of cancer have improved. However, some children with medulloblastoma continue to face dismal prognosis. I am very optimistic that personalizing treatment with selective targeted agents will improve both the prognosis and quality of life for these young medulloblastoma patients in the near future.”
The $250,000 Hyundai Hope Grant to Davare, who also is a research member of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, was presented during a ceremony at at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital where young patients battling cancer participated in the Signature Handprint ceremony. Every handprint tells a story and this ceremony celebrates the courageous lives of the children faced with cancer and brings Hope On Wheels’ community of supporters together.
Throughout September, Hope On Wheels will conduct a new social media campaign inviting the public to join the pediatric cancer fight and share stories of children battling cancer to raise awareness about this disease, which affects nearly 15,000 new children annually in the United States. Visitors to Hyundai’s Facebook page will be able to lend a hand through the app “Every Handprint Tells A Story,” which allows visitors to add their handprint to an interactive map of hope, as well as watch and read the stories of some of the amazing children. Hope On Wheels collects the handprints of hundreds of children each year, and each represents the hope and courage of an individual child impacted by cancer.
“Hope On Wheels is our fight to end pediatric cancer, and is at the soul of our work at Hyundai. With each car we sell, we make a contribution with our dealers to end this disease,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “We’ve now raised over $72 million dollars, and ask everyone to join us this September on Facebook to raise awareness about this cause.”
Hope On Wheels builds public awareness about the importance of this cause and provides funds to nonprofit children’s hospitals across the United States for pediatric cancer research and programs. The nonprofit is funded by Hyundai and its U.S. dealers. With every new vehicle sold in the United States, Hyundai and its dealers make a contribution to Hope On Wheels.