The hundreds of thousands of cars that Hyundai has been selling over the years have added up when it comes to funding research into pediatric cancer. Along the way, Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels campaign has become the nation’s second largest nonprofit devoted to the cause.
With September marking National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Hyundai and its dealers are contributing another $10.3 million to the cause. That brings total contributions to $72 million so far over the past 15 years. Of course, individuals are welcome to contribute as well.
This month, Hope on Wheels will present $250,000 grants to 41 pediatric cancer research hospitals across the nation. Eight U.S. hospitals have received more than $1 million. Hyundai raises money for the campaign by sponsoring 5K runs and dealer promotions, like the ones where young cancer patients put their handprints on cars.
The cause is personal to Hyundai Motor America’s CEO, John Krafcik, who had a cancer scare involving his son years ago. It turned out the boy didn’t have cancer, but Krafik has told USA TODAY that the wait to find out was one of the most agonizing of his life.
Hyundai says every 36 minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. That’s almost 15,000 new cases of childhood cancer each year.