Health Care and Nonprofits

Doctor wins grant for pediatric cancer research

October 4, 2017
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Jenna Gedminas
Jenna Gedminas. Courtesy Spectrum Health

A $150,000 grant will fuel further research into childhood cancer in West Michigan.

Hyundai Hope On Wheels awarded a the Hyundai Young Investigator Grant to Dr. Jenna Gedminas, the principal pediatric oncology researcher at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. She is one of 15 people in the country to receive the grant in 2017.

Gedminas is in her second year of a three-year pediatric oncology fellowship, following her three-year pediatrician residency in Chicago. Her research, which began in July under the mentorship of Dr. Patrick Grohar, focuses on a rare form of bone tumor called sarcoma.

“We’re looking for innovative new treatment approaches, and we’re hoping her research will unlock some of those secrets for us,” said Dr. James Fahner, the department chief for pediatric hematology and oncology at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

This is the fourth grant the hospital has received from Hyundai Hope On Wheels, which Fahner said has been supportive to a cause that commonly stays under the radar.

“Childhood cancer research is very dramatically underfunded compared to other cancer diagnoses,” he said.

Hyundai Hope On Wheels chose to award the grants in September to honor National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, according to a press release.

During the award program, children battling cancer participated the organization’s “Handprint Ceremony,” during which they painted their palms and placed their handprints on a white 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe. “Their colorful handprints on the official Hope Vehicle represent their individual and collective journeys, hopes and dreams,” according to the press release.

Hyundai Hope On Wheels

Hyundai Hope On Wheels is a nonprofit that provides grants to institutions researching childhood cancer. Since its inception in 1998, the organization has awarded more than $130 million.

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