Hyundai Hope on Wheels Awards Dr. Donald Durden $250,000 for Cancer Research

San Diego, Calif. – September 6, 2013 – Hyundai Hope On Wheels® and San Diego-area Hyundai dealers have awarded Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego with a $250,000 Hyundai Hope Grant for pediatric cancer research. The grant funds will support the work of Dr. Donald Durden, whose research is focused on improving the lives of children with pediatric malignancies, medulloblastoma and neuroblastoma.

“My research focuses on better understanding the signaling pathways that contribute to pediatric cancer cell growth and the development of new drugs to treat childhood cancer. The ultimate goal is to bring cancer discoveries to the bedside, to translate findings into therapeutic opportunities,” said Donald Durden, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Hematology/Oncology Research at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) and Associate Director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. “I am gratified that the Hope Grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels will go toward furthering our important research into fighting childhood cancers.”

Rady Children’s is one of 41 recipients of Hope On Wheels’ 2013 Hyundai Hope Grants. In all, Hope On Wheels will award $10.25 million in grants in September in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Hope On Wheels has raised more than $72 million in pediatric cancer research funding the past 15 years.  Since 2005, Rady Children’s Hospital has received more than $750,000 from Hope On Wheels.

The $250,000 Hyundai Hope Grant to Dr. Donald Durden was officially presented during a Hope On Wheels Handprint Ceremony at Rady Children’s on September 6.  During the ceremony, San Diego-area children battling cancer dipped their hands in colorful paint and placed their handprints on a white 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, the official vehicle of Hope On Wheels. Every handprint tells a story and this ceremony celebrates the courageous lives of the children faced with cancer and brings Hope On Wheels’ community of supporters together.

Throughout September, Hope On Wheels also will conduct a new social media campaign inviting the public to join the pediatric cancer fight and share stories of children battling cancer to raise awareness about this disease that affects nearly 15,000 new children annually in the U.S. Visitors to Hyundai’s Facebook page will be able to lend a hand through the app “Every Handprint Tells A Story”, which allows visitors to add their handprint to an interactive map of hope, as well as watch and read the stories of some of the amazing children. Hope On Wheels collects the handprints of hundreds of children each year, and each represents the hope and courage of an individual child impacted by cancer.

“Through the support of our dealers, hospital partners, and online community, Hope On Wheels remains steadfast in its drive to find a cure for these children impacted by cancer,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “While we celebrate our 15-year milestone with Hyundai Hope On Wheels, we acknowledge that there is still work to be done and invite everyone to unite with this cause during September.”

Hope On Wheels builds public awareness about the importance of this cause and provides funds to nonprofit children’s hospitals across the U.S. for pediatric cancer research and programs. The nonprofit is funded by Hyundai and its U.S. dealers. With every new vehicle sold in the U.S., Hyundai and its dealers make a contribution to Hope On Wheels.

For more information about Hyundai Hope On Wheels, please visit www.HyundaiHopeOnWheels.org.