Hyundai Hope on Wheels officials presented a $100,000 check Sept. 12 to benefit the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. “This gift will enable us to take resources and get them out there to treat children with cancer,” said Greehey Institute Interim Director Gail Tomlinson, M.D., Ph.D., in accepting the check.
Hyundai Hope on Wheels is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supported nationwide by Hyundai’s more than 800 dealers and Hyundai Motor America. At the end of 2010, Hyundai Hope on Wheels will have donated more than $23 million to children’s cancer research and treatment. Every time a new Hyundai vehicle is sold in the U.S., $5 is donated to Hope on Wheels.
“Thank you to local dealers and the national team for raising awareness of children’s cancer and supporting research,” Dr. Tomlinson said. “The Greehey Institute is very unique, in that it is one of the few places in the U.S. where a building was built and devoted to children’s cancer. We are in the process of completing our team of researchers who will lead in the creation of new knowledge.”
Thomas Mayes, M.D., M.B.A., chairman of pediatrics at the Health Science Center and physician-in-chief of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, said: “We are involved in long-term follow-up of many children with cancer, we are seeking future cures, and we are seeking greater understanding of biology and genetics. We are serving children of South Texas from the laboratory bench to the hospital setting. We are very pleased to be part of the nationwide Hyundai Hope on Wheels tour.”
Dr. Tomlinson said a check to the Greehey Institute from the 2008 Hope on Wheels tour helped more children to be enrolled in clinical trials.
Terri and Steve Edlund, co-chairs of the Ambassadors’ Circle, whose members raise support for and awareness of the Greehey Institute, spoke about their daughter, Stephanie, who was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in 2006 when she was just 4 years old.
“The methods and treatments were harsh, but she is here today and to look at her you would not know she has gone through this,” Terri Edlund said. After more than two years of chemotherapy, Stephanie, who is now 9, is cancer free.
“Research dollars are critical to finding alternate treatments for leukemia,” Terri Edlund added. “We are so grateful to Hyundai Hope on Wheels for recognizing the quality of research done at this institute.”
Greg Aune, M.D., who also survived Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which struck him when he was 16, has joined the Greehey Institute faculty. He studies the genetics of late effects of childhood cancer. A Hyundai Hope on Wheels grant will support his preliminary work. “Sixty years ago, pediatric cancers were almost always fatal,” he said. “Since then there has been astounding progress. Now, 75 percent to 80 percent will become long-term survivors.”