Hyundai grant to Fred Hutch to help childhood leukemia research

VIDEO: Fight against childhood cancer gets boost

SEATTLE — Courageous young kids battling cancer were on hand Tuesday as the Hyundai Hope on Wheels foundation donated $300,000 to the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

The money will go specifically to acute myeloid leukemia, one of the most challenging childhood cancers to treat. Fred Hutch doctors say grants like these are essential to their work.

“Costs of research have gone up,” Dr. Roland Walter told KIRO 7. “So, there's this sort of gap in cost of research and what federal funding provides. So foundation money becomes more and more important to support research.”

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Hyundai Hope on Wheels has been providing grants to Fred Hutch for eight years. Nationwide, it will donate $14 million to support pediatric cancer research this year. The new grant will help Dr. Walter and his team improve on a new drug.

“A drug that is now approved since last year to treat Leukemia patients,” Dr. Walter said. “And particularly children who do not respond to standard therapies.”

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It means a lot to the families battling childhood cancer. Eleven-year old Hana Mason has been battling cancer for five years and was with her mom, Karli Mason, at Tuesday’s ceremony.

“It means so much to me,” Karli Mason said. “It's so important to see people investing and donating to child cancer research, because new treatments that can be found even years later could have the possibility to help my child.”

Hana joined other courageous children fighting cancer who put their handprints on a Hyundai car, symbolizing their shared hope for a cure.

“It really makes me feel loved,” Hana said. “And that people really care.”