Levine Children's Hospital In Charlotte Awarded Grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels
The Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte NC was selected by Hyundai Hope on Wheels to receive a grant for $50,000. According to Dr. Javier Oesterheld, director of the hospital’s developmental therapeutics program, part of the Torrence E. Hemby Jr. Pediatic Hematology and Oncology Center, the funds will be used to conduct clinical trials to study the safety and efficacy of new chemotherapy treatments for pediatric cancers.
Levine Children’s Hospital, part of Carolinas HealthCare System, is a 12-story, 234-bed facility on the campus of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. CHS is the third largest public health-care system in the nation.
Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels began in 1998 as a local initiative in the New England area to raise funds for the Jimmy Fund at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It has evolved into a non-profit program supported nationwide by all of Hyundai’s 780 dealers. Since 1998, the Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels has donated more than $14 million to children’s hospitals across the US to help kids fight cancer.
Every time a new Hyundai vehicle is sold in the US, $5 is donated to Hope on Wheels.
The Medical Advisory Board of Hope on Wheels includes leaders in cancer research and treatment, such as Dr. Leonard Sender (Children’s Hospital of Orange County), Dr. David Poplack (Texas Children’s Cancer Center), and Dr. Dan Wechsler (Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center).
The Hope on Wheels symbol is a white Hyundai Santa Fe crossover vehicle covered with colorful handprints from childhood cancer patients all over the country. At each local ceremony to present grants, children attending the ceremony are asked to place their own handprints on the vehicle to commemorate their battle with cancer.
The program has a National Youth Ambassador who travels the country with the tour to share their story of hope and survival and to raise awareness for the need to fund childhood cancer research. Twelve-year-old Brianna Commerford has been selected to represent Hope on Wheels for 2010-2011. Brianna was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2007, has endured grueling rounds of chemotherapy, transfusions, and infections. Today, she is healthy and in remission.
This year, the Hyundai Hope on Wheels Tour has made stops at the Detroit Children’s Hospital of Michigan and at the Hope and Heroes Children’s Cancer Fund at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York.