NEW YORK, March 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hyundai Hope On Wheels® (HHOW), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer, announced that it awarded $50,000 to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to provide tailored support to the 650 teenagers and young adults undergoing active cancer treatment and returning to full health.
The announcement follows Hyundai Hope on Wheels' national launch ceremony last Thursday night themed, "A Day Without Pediatric Cancer," where HHOW celebrated child cancer survivors and recognized their families, doctors, nurses and supporters. Taking place on the sidelines of the 2016 New York International Auto Show, the ceremony also marked HHOW's 18 years of commitment and a total of $115 million donated in its pledge to end childhood cancer.
"We are honored to be part of a national community working towards a cure for pediatric cancer," said Dave Zuchowski, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. "At Hyundai Hope On Wheels, we are committed to funding the country's most innovative research into childhood cancer, including the groundbreaking work of doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering. We admire the courage of young people fighting cancer and their support systems, and we look forward to the day when no child needs to hear or fear the words 'you have cancer.'"
"Teenagers and young adults undergoing cancer treatment often feel disconnected from their healthy peers," said Dr. Richard O'Reilly, Chair of the Pediatrics at Memorial Sloan Kettering. "We are thrilled to receive this significant gift from Hyundai Hope on Wheels, which will help countless young patients with their unique social, psychological and medical needs. The goal of Memorial Sloan Kettering is to ensure every patients returns healthfully to their homes, schools and families."
This year's HHOW launch ceremony was co-hosted by Celebrity Ambassador Aubrey Peeples, film and TV actress known for her roles in Nashville and Jem and the Holograms. The ceremony recognized the four recipients of the 2016 Hyundai Quantum Awards. Each recipient received a $1 million grant for their ground-breaking work on pediatric cancer research. This year's Hyundai Quantum Grant Winners are:
Richard Aplenc, MD, PhD, MSCE, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)
Loren D. Walensky, MD, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA)
Soheil Meshinchi, MD, PhD and Marie Bleakley, MD, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, WA)
Duane A. Mitchell, MD, PhD, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
HHOW also announced its two national youth ambassadors for 2016, Hannah Adams and Ryan Darby. For the next two years, Hannah and Ryan – both 12 years old – will join HHOW in its mission to fight childhood cancer as they travel around the U.S. visiting children's hospitals and attending events to tell their stories of courage and hope.
"I am so proud to be named a National Youth Ambassador for Hyundai Hope on Wheels. No child deserves to suffer from pediatric cancer but I am glad I kids who are going through the same fight I experienced," said Hannah Adams.
"I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when I was 6 years old. After extensive treatment, I am now three years into remission and feeling healthy. It's great that I can share my story and give hope to other kids fighting cancer," said Ryan Darby.
HHOW was born out of a group of Hyundai employees and local Boston-area Hyundai dealers to support their local children's hospital. Since 1998, the organization has funded $115 million in research and created greater awareness of childhood cancer, which is the leading cause of death by disease in children and adolescents in the United States. Out of the 15,000 new cases of pediatric cancer diagnosed each year, one in five children will not survive the disease.
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.
HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is committed to becoming a lifetime partner in automobiles and beyond. The company leads the Hyundai Motor Group, an innovative business structure capable of circulating resources from molten iron to finished cars. Hyundai Motor has eight manufacturing bases and seven design & technical centers worldwide and in 2015 sold 4.96 million vehicles globally. With more than 110,000 employees worldwide, Hyundai Motor continues to enhance its product line-up with localized models and strives to strengthen its leadership in clean technology, starting with the world's first mass-produced hydrogen-powered vehicle, Tucson Fuel Cell and IONIQ, the world's first model with three electrified powertrains.