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More than $1M donation to Mayo Clinic for childhood cancer research

Some of Mayo's smallest but mightiest patients left their hand prints of hope.

Posted: Sep. 26, 2018 7:07 PM
Updated: Sep. 27, 2018 8:00 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Dr. Richard Vile, a Mayo Clinic doctor whose research team works to develop new treatments for aggressive pediatric brain tumors, received a $1,100,000 Hyundai Quantum Grant. The grant is given to help support childhood cancers with low survival rates. Mayo was one of four hospitals and research centers to receive this year's grant.

Only 4% of federal cancer research funding goes to pediatric cancer research, according to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Dr. Vile tells KIMT that government funding for his research is often hard to come by, so donations like this one will greatly aid his research. "A gift like this allows us to move our treatments on to patients much more quickly than would otherwise be possible. It also allows us to do the research that will set the foundation for the treatments of tomorrow and the next few years," he explains.

After the check was presented to Dr. Vile, pediatric cancer patients painted their hands and pressed them onto the Hyundai Hope on Wheels vehicle. The handprints will be made into permanent decals for the car.

Hannah Keehr and Avery Nolte were two of the kids leaving their mark of hope.

"These little kids suffer a lot even after treatment, if they get through treatment, so to donate towards research to help these little guys and little gals get through this awful fight is so huge. So people putting money into it, helping kids out, is a big deal for us," says Avery's mother Nicole Medina.

"It warms my heart that possibly here at Mayo we can find a better treatment for these kids," adds Hannah's mom Christa Keehr.

Mayo has previously been selected for other grants from Hope on Wheels and has received more than $1.8 million in total.

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