Wednesday night, I had the honor of being invited to Hyundai Hope On Wheels’ Celebration of Life Dinner and Check Presentation at the Franklin Institute. Not only was it a fun evening and beautiful venue, it was eye opening and moving! I can’t believe I was JUST learning about this incredible foundation that Hyundai has had going on for 19 years. NINETEEN YEARS they’ve been doing so.much.good and I’m just shouting it out now. Geez, seems unjust.
Hyundai Hope On Wheels is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is committed to finding a cure for childhood cancer. It was launched in 1998 and provides
grants to eligible institutions nationwide that are pursuing life-saving research and innovative treatments for the disease. They focus solely on pediatric cancer, and because of that, this is one of the largest non-profit funders of pediatric cancer research IN
THE COUNTRY!! Where does the funding come from? Us, my friends, you and I, the buyers of the Hyundai vehicles. More than 835 United States dealers generously donate a small portion from every car sold. That small amount goes oh-so-far! Sinceits inception, Hyundai Hope On Wheels has awarded more than $130 million towards childhood cancer research in pursuit of a cure.
At the Celebration of Life Dinner that I attended on September 27th, the Hyundai Scholar Hope Grant was officially presented to 2 pediatric cancer researchers at our very own CHOP in Philadelphia. This dinner was able to honor Philadelphia area children battling cancer and recognize the doctors and researchers of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
In honor of September being National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, many Hyundai dealerships double the donation they make to the foundation. This afforded even more grants! In September alone, 40 research grants totaling $8.5 million were given to institutions nationwide. Amazing!!! And so moving.
At the Dinner, several speakers took to the stage to inform us about their role in Hyundai Hope On Wheels. We also were entertained by NBC’s The Voice music artist Luke Wade. During the presentations, we were taught that every 36 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. I have four children, this statistic infuriates me. We all know someone impacted by cancer. I HATE CANCER! This leaves me so very grateful for organizations, such as Hope on Wheels, who are committed to funding research and raising awareness for childhood cancer.
Young Ryan, age 14, was one of the moving speakers. Ryan spoke of his journey with cancer. And his inspiring speech explained how grateful he is for Hope On Wheels’ mission to help find a cure and to end childhood cancer. We were able to understand, even more, the reason for the handprints that the organization has on their logo. “Every handprint tells a story”, and Ryan’s story was one of too many, truthfully. Between the videos and the speakers, my heart just ached. It was an odd balance, because I also felt such admiration for this cause. And for the medical professionals who are so passionate about their research and their patients. Everyone there was just so inspiring to me.
Actress, Jennifer Freeman, who is also a mom, spoke about the cause. And she was telling me about how she and her daughter will participate in a run Hope on Wheels is conducting near her home in California. There are so many ways so many of us can get involved, it doesn’t have to be via a car purchase! Though I will say, I owned a Hyundai Santa Fe for about 4 years. I loved that car. I only traded it in because baby #3 was on her way and I needed a minivan. I asked for it then, and I’ll ask for it again now, Hyundai, bring us a minivan!!! Especially now that I know how much good every car with that emblem is doing for families everywhere.
Spread the word, folks, please! I want every single person to know about Hyundai Hope On Wheels and all that they are doing to help kids fight cancer. You can learn more by going to www.HyundaiHopeOnWheels.org, visit them on social media at Facebook.com/HyundaiHopeOnWheels and twitter.com/HopeOnWheels.
Disclaimer: I was invited to the Celebration of Life Dinner as a paid member of the media. All opinions are my own.