The Hyundai Hope on Wheels Brings a Message of Hope to the 2013 New York International Auto Show
A Message of Hope through Childhood Cancer Research Funding
The childhood cancer research community couldn't have a better friend in the fight against childhood cancer than Hyundai Hope on Wheels.
In its commitment to finding a cure for childhood cancer, Hyundai Hope on Wheels, a 15 year-old philanthropic organization, provides cancer research grants to children's oncology group member hospitals all across the country.
"The Hyundai Hope on Wheels is a program that started in 1998," explained Zafar Brooks, Director, General Affairs, Hyundai Motors America; and Program Director, Hyundai Hope on Wheels.
"It started as a local initiative in Boston where Hyundai and a few local dealers decided just to do a local good deed at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute; that program quickly grew and nationwide has become a national not-for-profit 501 c (3) entity. We are one of the largest funders by now in childhood cancer research with over $72 million funded since we began," Brooks added.
Hyundai Hope on Wheels is delighted to be in New York City because Columbia University's Hope and Heroes Cancer Fund is a grant winner for 2013. Indeed, Columbia is the first grant winner for 2013 for Hyundai's Scholars Award and Columbia University is also a winner of the Hyundai Hope Grant, a $250,000 two-year grant in pursuit of innovative research in favor of finding cures for childhood cancer.
Hyundai is all in when it comes to funding childhood cancer research, as all 820 Hyundai dealers and Hyundai Motors America are involved in Hyundai Hope on Wheels. To assist the organization with its work, Hyundai Hope on Wheels has a medical advisory panel consisting of 11 distinguished doctors from across the country. The doctors help Hyundai Hope on Wheels design the program, determine what the guidelines will be, and the panel reviews and grades the childhood cancer research grant applications.
Hyundai Hope on Wheels funds Children's Oncology Groups of America member institutions across the country. For the most part, every children's hospital in America is eligible to apply for a grant. The medical panel reviews each grant application and decides the grant recipients. Grant recipients are chosen based on their application's ability to have transformative impacts on childhood cancer.
Of course, Hyundai Hope on Wheels strives to exceed its accomplishments from the previous year. The goal for 2013 is to surpass the $72 million raised in 2012, to fund transformative research, and to elevate public awareness. Hyundai Hope on Wheels created a social media campaign called, "Give Hope a Hand," to initiate and sustain community engagement. The public can connect with Hyundai Hope on Wheels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and at its website HyundaiHopeonWheels.org.
Cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease for children in the United States. Approximately 15,000 children are diagnosed with cancer annually. Every day, approximately 44 children are diagnosed with cancer.
"That's a classroom of children every day," said Brooks.
Hyundai is committed to finding cures for childhood cancer because of the impact it would have on society. The number of productive years of life that could be saved with children is nearly as much as all of the adult lives we save with cancer because adults are usually near the end of their life expectancy, while children still have 60 to 70 years of productive life expectancy left to live.
"This is a fight that we have to win," Brooks stated emphatically. "It's our future, it's the next generation. This is really what we are all about; and at Hyundai, we're committed to solving difficult problems, and we're committed to doing good for families."