MIDDLEBURG, Fla. and BETHESDA, Md., March 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hyundai Hope On Wheels® (HHOW), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids fight cancer, today announced that two local childhood cancer survivors, were selected as the organization's 2016-2017 National Youth Ambassadors. The children, Hannah Adams and Ryan Darby, will be recognized at the annual HHOW reception, which takes place on March 24, 2016 at 6:30 pm, and is themed, "A Day Without Pediatric Cancer." Aubrey Peeples, film and TV actress known for her roles in Nashville and Jem and the Holograms, has been named this year's HHOW Celebrity Ambassador and will co-host the event. Hyundai Motor America President and CEO, Dave Zuchowski, will lead the 18th annual launch event.
Hannah, a 12-year-old from Middleburg, FL, and Ryan, a 12-year-old from Bethesda, MD, were selected from a nationwide search. For the next two years, they will join HHOW in its mission to fight childhood cancer and will travel around the U.S. visiting children's hospitals and attending events to tell their stories of courage and hope. To date, HHOW has donated a total of $115 million in its pledge to end childhood cancer, which is the leading cause of death by disease in children and adolescents in the United States. This year alone, the organization will award $13 million in new pediatric cancer research grants.
"We are proud to have Hannah and Ryan join us as the next Hyundai Hope On Wheels National Youth Ambassadors," said Dave Zuchowski, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. "Children, families and supporters impacted by pediatric cancer across the country will find hope and strength in their stories of incredible bravery. Together with Hope On Wheels, they will serve as beacons in a fight to end childhood cancer."
About Hannah Adams – Hope On Wheels National Youth Ambassador Hannah Adams was five years old when she was first diagnosed with a Stage 3 Wilms tumor that enveloped her kidney. Since her recovery, Hannah has pursued her love of dancing and singing to help uplift and encourage other children and families through their fight. As part of Hannah's commitment to bring hope to others, she has presented at schools and events held in support of those in the fight against cancer.
"Children diagnosed with cancer, along with their families, need the hope that I was given when going through treatments. What I want to tell other kids is that, 'life is precious, you never know what it has in store, but hope is always worth fighting for!'"
About Ryan Darby – Hope On Wheels National Youth Ambassador Twelve-year-old Ryan Darby was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia six years ago. A big sports fan, Ryan enjoys playing basketball, soccer, football and lacrosse. Since his recovery, he has shared his story and words of encouragement with children and families across the country with passion and mission. As part of his commitment to sharing his story and spreading hope, he has spoken at numerous schools and given interviews on TV and radio.
"I want other children to know that even though cancer is a crazy disease, you can beat it!" said Ryan Darby. "For six years, I have been spreading awareness, and I never look back. It is going to take more than one 12-year-old boy to beat cancer, but I have done it before, and I won't stop until we do it again together!"
HYUNDAI HOPE ON WHEELS Hyundai Hope On Wheels® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is committed to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Launched in 1998, Hyundai Hope On Wheels provides grants to eligible institutions nationwide that are pursuing life-saving research and innovative treatments for the disease. Primary funding for Hyundai Hope On Wheels comes from Hyundai Motor America and its more than 800 U.S. dealers. At the end of its 16th year, Hyundai Hope On Wheels will have awarded more than $86 million towards childhood cancer research in pursuit of a cure.