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Posted September 12, 2013
ACH Receives $250,000 Research Grant from Hyundai Hope On Wheels for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Kyle Peters and Dr. Hale
Kyle Peters with Dr. Hale
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Hyundai Hope On Wheels® and Tampa Bay area Hyundai dealers awarded All Children's Hospital a $250,000 Hyundai Hope Grant to support childhood cancer research and programs dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer during a special ceremony on September 10.

All Children's Hospital is one of 41 recipients of the 2013 Hyundai Hope On Wheels Grants. In all, Hope On Wheels will award $10.25 million in grants this September in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Since 2010, All Children's Hospital has received $350,000 from Hope On Wheels.

The funds will support the research  of Dr. Gregory Hale, Medical Director of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, Blood & Marrow Transplantation at All Children's Hospital.

"This research will focus on the Epstein Barr virus, a common virus that stays dormant in most people after the initial infection, but reactivates to cause lymphoproliferative disease in cancer patients after transplantation, when the immune system is weakened," said Dr. Hale. "This disorder, called post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, causes significant and sometimes fatal complications. This research project supported by the Hyundai Hope on Wheels Grant will pilot a novel methodology of rapidly generating T-cells to destroy the virus after transplantation."

During the grant presentation, ACH patients participated in a "Handprint Ceremony."  This is the program's signature activity, which captures patients' handprints. These handprints are placed on Hyundai cars that travel across the country to build colorful awareness of the program.

"Companies like Hyundai understand their unique ability to leverage their customer loyalty and purchases to do good for society at the same time," said Jenine Rabin, Executive Vice President of the All Children's Hospital Foundation." We are honored to be a recipient of this important gift that will support research for pediatric cancer."

Kyle Peters, an All Children's patient and cancer survivor, participated in the handprint ceremony and shared his story about his three-year battle with a brain tumor.

"My time at All Children's has had highs and lows," said Kyle. "There was good news and setbacks. Throughout my treatment at the hospital, everyone had a positive attitude. I knew I was going to beat cancer.  After four surgeries, I have been in remission for over two years.

"The reason I'm here today and back in school playing baseball and basketball is because of research.  Without the money to fund the research and find cures for cancer, people like me would not be able to walk out of this place."

"Kyle is one of the reasons why we do what we do," said Scott Fink, owner of Hyundai of New Port Richey and a member of Hyundai's Hope On Wheels Committee.  "I admire his strength.  Kyle spreads a positive message for everyone else facing these complex situations."


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