Every day there are around 41-44 children diagnosed with cancer in the United States, virtually a classroom full. Out of that classroom, more than 7 children will not survive the disease. You may be shocked to discover that less than 4 percent of federal research funding for cancer is designated for pediatric cancer. Without necessary funding, these young patients are left without a voice.
Hyundai Hope On Wheels (HHOW) was established to fill that void. The objectives and goals that drive Hyundai Hope On Wheels are very simple: fund transformational research, improve care and, ultimately, find a cure for all forms of pediatric cancer.
Cancer is currently the leading disease-related cause of death for children in the United States. We will not stop until we create a future without childhood cancer.
Hyundai Hope On Wheels is an organization like no other. Our strategy for fighting pediatric cancer brings together three unique elements, the combination of which is entirely original to Hyundai Hope On Wheels.
The first core component of the Hyundai Hope On Wheels initiative is to fund innovative research. Every time a new Hyundai vehicle is sold in the U.S., Hyundai customers join Hyundai and its dealers in our cause. We are proud to have funded more than $115 million in pediatric cancer research in the U.S.
Through our research grants, HHOW is enabling the next generation of scientific discovery for finding a cure for pediatric cancer. While 80 percent of children with the most common types of pediatric cancer can survive, progress for many rare pediatric cancers has been limited. This challenge motivated HHOW to create the Hyundai Quantum Grant, launched in March 2016. The Quantum research grant is solely committed to transformational research on pediatric cancers with the lowest survival rates.
A key unique feature of our grant-giving campaign is the presentation of each research grant, which we do by working with hospitals to host one of our signature Handprint Ceremonies. At the ceremony, the handprints of children faced with cancer are captured in paint and on a white Hyundai vehicle. There is nothing as personal an individual handprint. It represents the dreams, future and hopes of each child. Every handprint tells a story. The vehicle serves as a canvas for hope, covered with handprints collected from children across the country battling this disease. These ceremonies have been taking place across the country, signifying that pediatric cancer is a problem across the country: in every state, city, town and local community. This feature of our campaign is unlike any other campaign across the world and drives home our objective to share the personal triumphs of children facing cancer across the country.
Secondly, we create public awareness of childhood cancer by stimulating social conversations about pediatric cancer. A key way in which we do this is via our two National Youth Ambassadors who visit hospitals across America to tell their stories of hope, offering a narrative that helps the core message resonate with a variety of audiences. The National Youth Ambassadors are youth spokespersons for Hope On Wheels selected every two years. In March 2016, Hannah Adams and Ryan Darby were named the 2016–2017 National Youth Ambassadors. Their personal stories are also included online as a part of the Hope On Wheels social media community, and printed collateral is distributed at U.S. Hyundai dealerships, all of which is designed to increase awareness and invite others to join the fight.
Finally, we have utilized social media activations to cut through public consciousness, including working with celebrity advocates to raise awareness on social media, organized a 'Thunderclap' campaign calling on the public to join the fight against pediatric cancer and a ran live "Twitter Party" with Hyundai's CEO to elevate the topic of pediatric cancer to the general public.
While we still have a long way to go until pediatric cancer is eliminated, we are proud of the effectiveness and social impact we have achieved from our activities.
As a result of HHOW's sustained investment in innovative research for childhood cancer, we have helped enable transformational research. An example of this includes funding the research of Dr. Katherine Janeway from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Dr. Katherine Janeway received a grant from Hyundai Hope On Wheels to study patients with relapsed solid tumors. Based on her research, it has grown to a nationwide protocol which has enrolled 825 patients.
And our message is starting to cut through. At our annual launch in New York in March 2015, our signature hashtag #Endchildhoodcancer was among the top 10 trending hashtags in New York. In our March 2016 launch, our awareness-raising campaign on social media reached a total of 31.3MM people.