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USA Health System
News Release
Mobile, Ala. (July 15, 2008)
Contact: Bob Lowry, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, (251) 415-1358


Hope on Wheels Patients
From top to bottom, patients Alexander Williams, Taylor Davis and Emma Smith wait to participate in the handprint ceremony celebrating the Hope on Wheels grant.
Children’s cancer research at the University of South Alabama Children’s & Women’s Hospital is picking up speed, thanks to support from Hyundai Motor America. USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital has received a $30,000 Hope on Wheels Hyundai Pediatric Cancer Research Award. The grant will be used to support continuing pediatric cancer research at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital.

“Thanks to research, cancer survival rates for children are dramatically improving,” Dr. Becky DeVillier, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital administrator, said. “This Hope on Wheels grant will play a vital role in our continuing efforts, and we are grateful for Hyundai’s support.”
Drs. Hamayun Imran and Aarati Rao, assistant professors
From left, Drs. Hamayun Imran and Aarati Rao, assistant professors of pediatric hematology/oncology at USA, who received the Hope on Wheels grant.

The grant was obtained through the efforts of co-investigators Dr. Aarati Rao and Dr. Hamayun Imran, both assistant professors of pediatric hematology/oncology in the USA College of Medicine.

Dr. Loran Clement, professor and chair of pediatrics in the USA College of Medicine, said the grant will be used to further improve long-term follow-up care for children who survive cancer. “Drs. Rao and Imran prepared the research topic to be studied, and they will provide the care and assist these children and their families,” Clement said. “They should be given all the credit.”
Between 1975 and 2003, the national five-year survival rate of childhood cancer rose from 58 percent of patients to almost 80 percent of patients, due to major advances in treatments.
Hope on Wheels handprint Ceremony
Taylor Davis places his painted hand on the 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. The vehicle, complete with children’s handprints, tours the country raising awareness of children’s cancer research.
In addition to a check presentation, the event included the Hope on Wheels “Handprint Ceremony,” which celebrated pediatric cancer patients’ lives and treatment milestones by capturing their colorful handprints on a white 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe.
“Hyundai and its dealers are proud to make this donation to USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital and Drs. Rao and Imran, who have shown such dedication in the fight against pediatric cancer,” Oscar Leeser, president of the Hyundai National Hope on Wheels Dealer Board and an El Paso, Texas, Hyundai dealer, said.
USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, one of less than ten freestanding children’s and women’s hospitals in the country, features the award-winning USS Hope cancer and sickle cell treatment center, which uses “distraction therapy” to give young patients the feeling of traveling in a submarine during their visit. It is the only facility of its kind in the region. The USS Hope features bright and cheerful colors, comfortable seating, television/computers, and exotic fish tanks to help relieve patient and family anxieties.
For more information about USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, please visit
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Date last changed: July 16, 2008 4:27 PM