When the "Hope on Wheels" tour stops in Sacramento on Aug. 17, the SUV's white metal canvas will be ready for dozens of handprints, each bearing the name and age of a pediatric patient at UC Davis Cancer Center.
The celebration, to take place at the Education Building Rotunda, 4610 X St., is part of a national tour sponsored by Hyundai Dealers Association, which has donated more than $34 million to support the fight against childhood cancer in the past 13 years.
This year, Hyundai will present a $50,000 check to Joyce Lee, a UC Davis clinical pharmacist and neuroblastoma researcher who completed both her pharmacy practice and oncology pharmacy specialty residencies at UC Davis.
Lee will use the funds to advance her research in neuroblastoma, the most common extracranial solid tumor occurring in children. Neuroblastoma accounts for 8 percent to 10 percent of all childhood cancers and approximately 15 percent of cancer deaths in children. The goal of Lee's research is to develop a more effective and less toxic formulation of a treatment for neuroblastoma and potentially other pediatric cancers such as leukemia, Wilm's tumor and rhabdomyosarcoma.
"I'm thrilled to be the recipient of the 2011 Hyundai Hope on Wheels Young Scholar Award," said Lee. "This award will directly allow me to work on my research on neuroblastoma. I am using the novel nanotechnology invented by my mentor, Dr. Kit Lam, to develop new treatments for children with cancer. This award also legitimizes the involvement of a pharmacist in clinical and translational research, and indirectly creates opportunities for pharmacists like myself to use our drug expertise and clinical knowledge in drug development."
The event on Wednesday also will provide young cancer patients and their siblings the opportunity to add their handprints to the Hope on Wheels vehicle, celebrating their lives and sharing their triumphs and other milestones with children and families across the country.