Chattanooga, Tenn. – June 19, 2013 – Hyundai Hope On Wheels® and Chattanooga-area Hyundai dealers awarded a $75,000 Hyundai Scholar Grant to the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital at Erlanger to develop Southeast Tennessee’s first Pediatric Cancer Survivorship Clinic. Dr. Jennifer Keates, a pediatric oncologist from Children’s Hospital, is one of 40 recipients of Hope On Wheels’ 2013 Hyundai Scholar Grant, which supports principal investigators known as Hyundai Scholars. Hyundai Scholars pursue research and implement clinical programs aimed at improving the lives of children battling pediatric cancer.

Over the course of 2013, Hope On Wheels will donate $14 million to children’s hospitals nationwide through its Hyundai Scholar Grant and Hyundai Hope Grant programs. Celebrating its 15th year, Hope On Wheels will surpass $72 million in total donations to pediatric cancer research and programs since its inception in 1998.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of our local Hyundai dealers for allowing us to fulfill a much needed service to the cancer patients in our region,” said Dr. Manoo Bhakta, Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Division Chief. “Approximately 45 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed and treated at Children’s Hospital each year, and we continue to treat and follow the patients’ progress throughout their teenage and adult years. This opportunity to create a Pediatric Cancer Survivorship Clinic will help support our program for years to come.”

“This grant from Hyundai will be an extension of my research to follow pediatric cancer patients throughout their care,” said Dr. Jennifer Keates, Assistant Clinical Professor and oncology specialist at Children’s Hospital. “My studies will help researchers understand how cancer treatments have lasting effects in children as they grow older while also providing solutions to improve education and treatments for future generations.”

The $75,000 Hyundai Scholar Grant to the center will be officially presented during a Hope On Wheels Handprint Ceremony at the hospital on Thursday, June 20 at 10 a.m. During the ceremony, Chattanooga-area children battling cancer will place their handprints dipped in colorful paint on a white 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, the official vehicle of Hope On Wheels. Every Handprint Ceremony celebrates the courageous lives of children with cancer and brings Hope On Wheels’ community of supporters together.

“Hyundai and its dealers remain committed to helping children in the fight against pediatric cancer,” said John Krafcik, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “We are dedicated to providing crucial research dollars that will lead to finding cures and better treatment protocols for these precious children impacted by cancer. While cure rates approach 80 percent for some forms of pediatric cancer, far too many children and families are devastated by the disease. We are proud of our 15-year milestone for Hyundai Hope On Wheels, and remain keenly aware that there is much more work to be done.”

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. 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.

A new Hope On Wheels program encourages the public to show its support and raise awareness by “Giving Hope a Hand.” To participate in the program, supporters can simply take a picture of their hand and post it on their social media pages using the hashtag #GiveHopeAHand.

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Hyundai Hope On Wheels® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is committed to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Launched in 1998, Hyundai Hope On Wheels provides grants to eligible institutions nationwide that are pursuing life-saving research and innovative treatments for the disease. Primary funding for Hyundai Hope On Wheels comes from Hyundai Motor America and its more than 800 U.S. dealers. At the end of its 15th year, Hyundai Hope On Wheels will have awarded more than $72 million towards childhood cancer research in pursuit of a cure.

The Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is Southeast Tennessee’s only accredited pediatric cancer center. The center is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group, offering patients enrollment options in cancer treatment protocols, and providing a total care approach to all children diagnosed with cancer in the four-state region. Ninety-five percent of children in our region diagnosed with cancer receive treatment at our center, regardless of the ability to pay.

As the only medical center in the Chattanooga and tri-state region devoted solely to children, T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital at Erlanger provides the best in children’s healthcare by viewing the world from a unique perspective of children and understanding what they need. Children’s Hospital is a Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center, the highest designation in the state for pediatrics. The hospital offers a full range of pediatric subspecialists, as well as a pediatric ER, ICU, and Level III neonatal intensive care unit, providing the highest level of care in the region for premature and sick infants.

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Hyundai Assurance includes Assurance Connected Care that provides Hyundai owners with proactive safety and car care services made possible by the Hyundai Blue Link telematics platform, complimentary for three years. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.

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Video from press conference



Dr. Bhakta handprint

Dr. Bhakta speaking

Dr. Keates handpring

Dr. Keates speaking

Drs. Keates and Bhakta and Nelson Long

Drs. Keates and Bhakta

DSC_0404-Maurquez Thompson

DSC_0405-Misty Lacey

DSC_0410-Sergio Velez

DSC_0413-Melody Hudson

DSC_0414-Madison Brooks

DSC_0425- Audrey Robbins

Foundation's Julie Taylor