At 2 p.m. on September 6, the lobby of the N.C. Basnight Cancer Hospital folks gathered for a special event at the UNC Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Clinic.
Ian Davis, MD, PhD, Chief of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, took the podium and welcomed everyone to the event, acknowledging the critical importance of philanthropic giving and acknowledging the generous support of Hyundai Hope on Wheels in the fight against pediatric cancer.
Hyundai Hope on Wheels has been engaged in the battle against pediatric cancer since 2011. During this summer and through September, National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Hyundai Hope on Wheels traveled across the nation to award $25 million in grants to doctor-researchers, bringing their total contribution to fighting pediatric cancer to $225 million.
Their commitment has been a driving force behind funding clinical research that has led to significant progress made in pediatric oncology at UNC over the years. Dr. Davis expressed gratitude to the organization for their support and partnership, which have been instrumental in his and his clinic’s achievements in genetic therapies for pediatric cancer.
Phan Tran, Senior Merchandising Manager at Hyundai Motor America, shared his passion for the cause. “It is for you that we joined this fight 25 years ago. And it’s with you, that we will stand for as long as it takes, until we find a cure,” Tran said.
Wayne Dubois, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President from Sport Durst Hyundai, also remarked, “Children are our future. They need to know they are not alone.”
Dubois recognized UNC Children’s and Pediatric Hematology Oncology Psychosocial Support Program Coordinator Sarah Frantz, and awarded her with a $100,000 Impact Grant. A jumbo-sized check was presented, and photos were taken.
In her remarks, Frantz emphasized the importance of community and support for families undergoing treatment. “I want to express our deepest appreciation to Hyundai Hope on Wheels for making this grant possible. Your generosity will touch the lives of our pediatric patients and their families in remarkable ways,” Frantz said.
Former UNC Children’s patient Ashely Burnette told her moving story of enduring and beating pediatric cancer.
Then came the fun part. A few young patients—including Burnette—had their hands painted and put colorful handprints on the white coats of Dr. Davis and Frantz.
“Every handprint tells a story in the fight against pediatric cancer,” Tran said.
“Hyundai Hope on Wheels serves as a reminder of the profound impact of philanthropy and community support in the fight against pediatric cancer,” Davis said. “It touches the hearts of all those who attend.”