Thanks to Hyundai for sponsoring this post.
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and I had the honor of attending a Celebration Dinner Gala for Hope on Wheels where they awarded hospital grant recipients and honored the resilient fight of cancer survivors and their families. Hope on Wheels is a nonprofit organization that increases the awareness of childhood cancers and funds discovery by awarding large grants to research centers actively investigating treatments and cures for pediatric cancer. At the dinner, I was surrounded by childhood cancer survivors and their families, doctors & cancer researchers and local Hyundai dealership owners.
During the event I learned facts like how 43 children are diagnosed with cancer every day in the United States and how pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death among children by disease each year. I also learned more about how it affects each family it touches as I listened to heartfelt stories from a 14 year old in remission and a woman who shared about cancer from her point of view as a mother who watched her young son go through it.
We also had the pleasure of listening to Luke Wade, a contestant from NBC’s The Voice, sing. He wrote a song for children who have received a cancer diagnosis and their families. You can hear the beautiful song he performed above.
The focus of the event though, was to talk about the research that has been done to eliminate cancer and to award grants to doctors and research centers. Since 1969, death rates have declined by two thirds but there is still much more work to be done because even one child lost to cancer is one child too many. I was amazed to hear how expensive research is and that’s why the grants that Hyundai Hope on Wheels offers is so important. During the month of September, Hope On Wheels is awarding 40 research grants to children’s hospitals across the country including a $250,000 Hope Scholar grant to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, adding $8.5 million in critical funds to the field of pediatric cancer research The highly-competitive grants are aimed at expanding the knowledge base of the disease and improving the standards of care. In 2017 they plan to award $15 million in grants. Since joining the fight against pediatric cancer in 1998, Hyundai has funded over 840 research projects totaling more than $130 million.
Events are happening across the country this month and the above video shares a bit about the Chicago event I attended.
So how can YOU help? One easy way to show your support and help raise money is to leave a message of hope to those affected by pediatric cancer. An encouraging word or story, a special shout-out or a simple thank you goes a long way to inspiring those fighting this disease. Plus, for every message posted, Hyundai Hope on Wheels will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to a 2017 grant winning hospital.
I’m honored to be partnering with Hyundai Hope on Wheels and I hope that you will join me in helping spread awareness of childhood cancer and raising funds to end it.