Posted at: 09/17/2013 6:21 PM
By: Katie Eldred
Hyundai Gives $250k to Mayo Cancer Research
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children. Mayo Clinic researchers have long been trying to change that. Tuesday it received some help in the form of a $250,000 dollar grant.
Mayo clinic received the grant from Hyundai's Hope on Wheels program. The money will go to help Mayo Clinic find better treatments for the more than ten thousand children diagnosed with cancer each year.
They are the words no parent ever wants to hear, your child has cancer.
"First I didn't really understand," said Erik Sutter.
Erik Sutter was diagnosed with cancer when he was just seven years old. His mom Helen Sutter says it's been a hard journey for his entire family.
"It's heartbreaking, because it's something you never anticipate," said Helen Sutter.
The worst part for Erik...
His mother Helen says it was tough to go through.
"It's hard when you hold the waste basket for your child to vomit after chemo and you see their little bald head," said Helen Sutter.
It's those side effect from treatment that Mayo Clinic doctors are trying to prevent.
"It's really essential to develop new drugs by targeting specific components inside cancer cells," said Dr. Richard Bram.
Dr. Richard Bram of Mayo Clinic is working on a better way to treat childhood cancer. To do the research, it takes funding.
That’s why Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels gave Dr. Bram a $250,000 dollar check. To help him help kids.
"At the end of this work we hope we'll have developed new ways to attack childhood leukemia that should give us better cures and fewer side effects," said Dr. Bram.
So that more kids like Erik Sutter can win their battle with cancer.
"He's got four months left," said Helen Sutter.
After everything he's been through he now wants to become a nurse. So much like Dr. Bram he too can help kids who had to hear those dreaded words.
"I just think I have the experience that I know what the kids are going through," said Erik Sutter.
Last year another Mayo Clinic doctor received the Hyundai Hope on Wheels grant. Since they started the program Hyundai has donated more than $70 million dollars to help fight childhood cancer.