Hyundai Motor America and CHOC celebrate fifth anniversary of Cancer Institute


Hyundai Hope On Wheels presents final installment of a $10 million research grant to the the Cancer Institute at Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

Jerry Flannery with Kenny Thomas

From left, Jerry Flannery, Executive VP and General Counsel, Hyundai Motor America and Kenny Thomas, National Youth Ambassador, Hyundai Hope On Wheels pose during the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s fifth anniversary celebration held at the Marconi Automotive Museum on Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Tustin.

Members of the Hope On Wheels Board of directors and executives from Hyundai joined together with doctors, patients and families from CHOC Children’s to celebrate this milestone. During the event, representatives from Hyundai and CHOC Children’s spoke about this ongoing partnership and the advances in research as a result of these funds. Kenny Thomas, Hyundai Hope On Wheels’ National Youth Ambassador, told his story about his own battle with pediatric cancer. Event participants enjoyed a special performance by ventriloquist, Ms. Megan Piphus. The evening also featured Hope On Wheels signature Handprint Ceremony with child cancer fighters from CHOC. Children and their families were treated to an evening of entertainment, food and other activities.

Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai President and CEO, presented Kim Cripe, CHOC President and CEO, with a $2 million check to complete the pledge grant for the project. Said Mr. Zuchowski, “it is truly incredible to see the partnership between Hyundai and CHOC grow throughout the years. We applaud CHOC Children’s for their dedication and hard work and for the impact that the Hyundai Cancer Institute has had on countless children. We know that the research, which this grant funded, has helped them make important advancements in pediatric cancer.” Zuchowski concluded, “We also know that much more work is necessary in order to arrive at a time when no child ever has to face being diagnosed with cancer. Hyundai is committed this cause for as long as it takes.”

The Hyundai Cancer Institute is located at CHOC Children’s in Orange, CA. and serves thousands of families in Orange County and throughout the region. Led by Dr. Leonard Sender, Medical Director and Chief of Oncology, the Hyundai Cancer Institute continues to pursue innovative approaches to service children diagnosed with pediatric cancer. The Hope On Wheels research grant for CHOC Children’s has supported an innovative pilot genome-sequencing program that samples the patient’s individual DNA to access critical data containing the key to a custom care plan. This invaluable information not only benefits the patient, but also allows doctors and researchers to begin to amass a comprehensive database of information that will ultimately impact the care of future patients. CHOC Children’s continues to be at the vanguard of answering important questions about pediatric cancer and ways to provide improved standards of care to these children.

Dr. Leonard Sender, Medical Director at the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC explained to the participants why the Hyundai Cancer Institute is serving children in Orange County and abroad. “The last four years have been so exciting at the Hyundai Cancer Institute,” said Sender. “For the first time, we have been able to do a very comprehensive analysis of the tumors that sadly are still so frequently taking the lives of our children. The lessons learned will guide us in the coming years to change the outcome and lead to increased survival. We are definitely not done and we won’t be until all children are cured with the least long- term side effects. Thank you Hyundai for sharing our vision.”

Between April and August, Hyundai Hope On Wheels conducts its tour to visit children’s hospitals nationwide and present grant awards. The organization offers several research grant categories to Children’s Oncology Group Members in the US. Earlier this month, the Hyundai Quantum Grant application process was announced. The Quantum will provide a $1 million pediatric cancer research award to four chosen institutions, with a goal to tackle pediatric cancers with the lowest survival rates. During the month of September, the organization will conduct its annual campaign as a part of national childhood cancer awareness month. A series of social media activities, celebrity engagement, 5K series, and special events will be held to build greater awareness for the cause. One goal for this year is to create 100,000 Facebook followers to join the cause.

The newly elected Chairman of the Board for Hyundai Hope On Wheels is Scott Stark from Austin, Texas. Mr. Stark flew in to participate in the event and recommitted the organization’s commitment to funding innovative research for pediatric cancer. “I am so proud of the commitment of Hyundai and its dealers to this cause for over 17 years”, said Stark. “This year alone, we will award over $15 million in funding of new research funding for pediatric cancer, allowing more than 72 new research projects to begin throughout the US. As we have seen here at CHOC Children’s, these research initiatives play a vital role in developing new studies, provide a better understanding of these diseases and someday, hopefully soon, lead to a cure.”

Since the program began in 1998, Hope On Wheels has awarded over $100 million in research grants for pediatric cancer. The goal of the program remains to end childhood cancer. Join our community and lend a hand by visiting and click on “We Win Together” to find out more. You can also join the conversation on social media @HopeOnWheels, using hashtags #EndChildhoodCancer and #HopeOnWheels and follow us on Facebook and Twitter, by visiting or

Hyundai Hope On Wheels® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is committed to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Launched in 1998, Hyundai Hope On Wheels provides grants to eligible institutions nationwide that are pursuing life-saving research and innovative treatments for the disease. Primary funding for Hyundai Hope On Wheels comes from Hyundai Motor America and its more than 820 U.S. dealers. Hyundai Hope On Wheels has awarded more than $100 million towards childhood cancer research in pursuit of a cure.

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle limited warranty; Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Hyundai Assurance includes Assurance Connected Care that provides owners of Hyundai models equipped with the Hyundai Blue Link telematics system with proactive safety and car care services complimentary for three years. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.

Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2015-2016) and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital for the highest quality of care, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s) is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach, education and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional health care network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, many primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four clinical centers of excellence – the CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes.

CHOC earned the Gold Level CAPE Award from the California Council of Excellence, the only children’s hospital in California to ever earn this distinction, and was awarded Magnet designation, the highest honor bestowed to hospitals for nursing excellence. Recognized for extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, CHOC’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is the first in the United States to earn the Beacon Award for Pediatric Critical Care Excellence.

The article above was released by Hyundai Motor America.