Sept. 18, 2018 – In the newest rounds of grants marking its 20th anniversary, Hyundai Hope On Wheels® 501(c)(3) celebrates National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by awarding the $200,000 Hyundai Young Investigator grant to pediatric oncologist Dr. Paul Castillo of University of FloridaHealth Shands Children’s Hospital. This September, 38 new doctor-researchers will receive a combined $14.1 million in grants to support novel therapeutic approaches and innovative research options in pediatric cancer. The awards will be officially presented to Dr. Castillo at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, September 19th at 10 a.m.
Childhood cancer researchers depend largely on private funding for groundbreaking therapies to get off the ground and to advance treatment approaches to the next phase of testing, ultimately, bringing better therapies and cures to kids with cancer. With this latest award, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital has received more than $2.1 million in grants from Hope On Wheels, contributing to the organization’s $145 million in the organization’s total lifetime giving.
“Throughout the country, talented doctors are working tirelessly to help kids fight cancer by conducting research or providing bedside care,” said Scott Fink, chairman, Hyundai Hope On Wheels Board of Directors. “Our goal at Hope On Wheels is to provide these doctors with the grant funds they need to perform their lifesaving work.”
During the event, children being treated for cancer at University of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital will participate in the program’s signature Handprint Ceremony, where they will dip their hands in paint and place their handprints on the Hope Vehicle, a white 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe. As “Every Handprint Tells a Story,” the colorful handprints of brave pediatric cancer fighters represent their individual and collective hopes, dreams and journeys. From now through the end of September, the Hope Vehicle will travel nationwide to honor kids battling cancer, raise awareness of the disease, and to inspire hope toward a cure.
Supporters are encouraged to visit the HHOW website (www.HyundaiHopeOnWheels.org) to view this year’s grant winners along with stories of brave cancer survivors and passionate doctor-researchers. Once there, supporters may add their handprint to a wall of hope to show their support for the cause. They will also find information on additional ways to support HHOW through social media efforts and events throughout the month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at facebook.com/HyundaiHopeOnWheels, twitter.com/HopeOnWheels or instagram.com/HyundaiHopeOnWheels.