Hyundai Continues the Fight Against Pediatric Cancer

By: Lauren Woods

Hyundai Motor America and its dealers earlier announced their recommitment to the fight against pediatric cancer with the 2007 Hope On Wheels tour. The campaign of the automaker is the united effort of over 750 Hyundai dealers to increase awareness for kids fighting pediatric cancer.

This summer, 28 ceremonial donation stops will take place at pediatric cancer research institutions nationwide to celebrate children's lives and treatment milestones by capturing their colorful handprints on a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe. The sale of Hyundai vehicles with handprints on them will be donated to pediatric cancer research institutions across the country.

According to the automaker, since the inception of Hope On Wheels in 2004, the tour has visited more than 70 hospitals nationwide and collected more than 300 handprints at "handprint ceremonies." Like the , the campaign is sending a positive breeze to pediatric cancer patients and their families. Hyundai and its dealers have contributed more than $8 million dollars. This year, it expects to reach $10 million in total contributions.

The automakers and its dealers wanted to fasten their passion for helping kids fight cancer with their desire to give back to the communities in which they live and work. And Hope on Wheels was created to do both. In 1998, Hyundai joined the fight against pediatric cancer through the efforts of New England-area Hyundai dealers and their donations benefiting the Jimmy Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

"Fifty years ago children with standard risk leukemia had very little hope of surviving, but with the aid of pediatric cancer institutions across the nation they now have close to a 90 percent chance of being cured," said Dr. Leonard Sender, M.D., the medical director of the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) Cancer Institute.

CHOC is an ongoing beneficiary of Hyundai's pediatric cancer efforts. It has recently received an all-new Hope On Wheels Santa Fe. "With the donations and generous aid we receive from organizations like Hyundai, our facility and others can continue to conduct the research and innovative forward-thinking that enable us to provide our patients with the best clinical care and preventative tools," Sender continued to say.

"We are excited and proud to continue our ninth year commitment to helping children who have overcome or are battling pediatric cancer," said Steve Wilhite, the chief operating officer of Hyundai Motor America. "Providing financial assistance is just the first step. Hyundai plans to be personally and emotionally committed to the Hope On Wheels campaign as we raise awareness and support in multiple communities."

Francesca Arnaudo, a two-time cancer survivor who is now eleven years old, will once again be the spokesperson for the 2007 Hyundai Hope On Wheels. Francesca's nurses call her their "miracle child." After three years of treatment at UC Davis Cancer Center, the little girl beat two cancers: osteosarcoma (a bone cancer) and acute myeloid leukemia (a white blood cell malignancy).
It all started with a minor T-ball mishap. The X-ray exposed a large tumor on her right humerus. Following five months of chemotherapy to shrink the bone tumor, the girl underwent a five-hour operation that saved her arm.

Soon afterward, Francesca was diagnosed with another cancer - acute myeloid leukemia. She underwent high-dose chemotherapy and total body irradiation to wipe out her diseased blood-producing cells, then received a transfusion of donor stem cells that would grow into cells to generate healthy blood.

Today, Francesca's leukemia is in remission. There is no sign of the bone cancer. Francesca is putting the arm to use on art projects. "She draws, draws, draws," said her mother, Mary Arnaudo. "Throughout everything, her therapy has been drawing. It's what's kept her going."

Car Focus
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Car Focus