Hyundai Hope on Wheels donates $30,000 to UC Davis Cancer Center

Dr. Satake © 2009 UC Regents
The Hyundai Hope on Wheels donation will help fund the childhood leukemia research of Noriko Satake, pictured with Sam Brnovich, western region Hyundai general manager.

UC Davis Cancer received a $30,000 donation for pediatric cancer research from Hyundai Hope on Wheels™, a philanthropy of Hyundai Motor America and its dealers. The 2009 Hope on Wheels Tour is traveling nationwide to donate more than $1.3 million to childhood cancer research and made a stop at UC Davis Cancer Center on Sept. 23 to present the check.

Noriko Satake, assistant professor of pediatric hematology and oncology, has been named a 2009 Hyundai scholar, and will use the funds to support her research into the characterization of leukemia stem cells in childhood leukemia. Satake was recognized and then childhood cancer patients took part in the Hope on Wheels handprint ceremony, during which they dipped their hands in paint and applied colorful handprints to a white Hyundai Santa Fe. The car, which is covered in children’s handprints from all over the country, is the symbol of Hyundai Hope on Wheels.

Patient Karly with nurse Martha Donaldson © 2009 UC Regents
Cancer center patient Karly Martinez participated in the handpainting event and visited with one of her nurses, Martha Donaldson.

“We are inspired every day by the brave children we meet at our Handprint Ceremonies,” said Chris Shaffer, dealer principal at Hyundai Roseville. “When the kids place their handprints on the car, we are honoring their brave battles against cancer, commemorating their triumphs and sharing their hope for the future with other children and their families across the country.”

hand stamp © 2009 UC Regents
Angelica Ayala added her handprint to the SUV while a local television station camera captured the moment.

“Hyundai and its dealers have been committed to supporting the children, families and doctors battling childhood cancer for more than ten years,” said Oscar Leeser, president of the Hyundai National Hope on Wheels Dealer Board and an El Paso, Texas, Hyundai dealer.  “Even in the face of tough economic times for our industry, we will not waiver in our commitment to supporting the medical research and training that will produce better treatments, therapies and, one day, a cure.”

Designated by the National Cancer Institute, UC Davis Cancer Center is recognized nationally for its commitment to research into pediatric cancer diagnoses and treatments. Young patients come to UC Davis for compassionate, cutting-edge care provided by a multidisciplinary team of cancer experts.