Grace E. G. Callwood, a fifth grade student at William S. James Elementary School in Abingdon, was named a 2016 Hyundai Hero of Hope. She is one of nine children named to the program. Heroes of Hope serve as honorary ambassadors and guest speakers in their communities when local donations are made to the Hyundai Hope on Wheels program.
Sharing messages of hope to national audiences are the 2016-2017 National Youth Ambassadors Hannah Adams, 12, from Middleburg, Fla., and Ryan Darby, 12, from Bethesda, Md. They were selected for this flagship program from a nationwide search. For the next two years, they will join Hyundai Hope on Wheels in its mission to fight childhood cancer and will travel around the U.S. visiting children’s hospitals and attending events to tell their stories of courage and hope.
The Hyundai Hope on Wheels program is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that, according to its website, 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 830 U.S. dealers. Hyundai Hope On Wheels has awarded more than $115 million towards childhood cancer research in pursuit of a cure. Hyundai Hope On Wheels is now in its 18th year in the fight against pediatric cancer.
“I’m so honored to be recognized by the Hyundai Heroes of Hope program. It’s nice to be part of the Hyundai Hope on Wheels project in some way and being a Hero of Hope, I hope, will help at least my local community know more about the importance of cancer research,” said Callwood, age 11. “Hyundai Hope on Wheels is an amazing organization. I am very proud and congratulatory of the two awesome young people who were selected today as national youth ambassadors.”
“Hyundai Hope on Wheels is important because they recognize something very important every day: pediatric cancer. The people that founded and planned the Hyundai Hope on Wheels organization are very smart to have pediatric cancer survivors be ambassadors and speak to others about why research on pediatric cancer is so important,” shared Callwood, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 7 in October 2011. She completed chemotherapy in March 2014. She was treated at the Herman and Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital and the Alfred I. Coplan Pediatric Hematology Oncology Outpatient Center at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, where Dr. Yoram Unguru was her primary oncologist. Grace is cancer free, and remains under medical observation. She started a nonprofit, the We Cancerve Movement (www.wecancerve.org), shortly after diagnosis to bring happiness to children in vulnerable situations including sickness.
The Children’s Oncology Group reports that nearly 13,500 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer each year. It’s the world’s largest, cooperative children’s cancer research entity. It brings together treatment centers, physicians, laboratory scientists, nurses, psychologists and others working to beat cancer in children, adolescents and young adults.
Recipients of the Hyundai Grants are selected from the nation’s best and brightest institutions. These grants have funded more than 700 incredible research projects, many of which have led to the discovery of new treatments for children. To learn more stories of hope from this year’s Heroes of Hope and the National Youth Ambassadors, visit http://hyundaihopeonwheels.org/hope-heroes/