'Hope On Wheels' Lifts Spirits At Children's Hospital

Wednesday, September 14th 2011, 6:58 pm
By: News 9

Darren Brown, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center received a $100,000 grant for cancer research on Wednesday.

The grant is part of Hyundai Motor America's "Hope on Wheels" program to raise awareness about childhood cancer.  The grant was awarded to Dr. David Crawford.  Crawford discovered a protein that causes cancer and has been working on preventing the development of malignancies.

Jay and Vanessa Hart attended the grant announcement with their two year old son Brock, who was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just 11 months old.  His mother remembered that day as a total blur, starting with a trip to the doctor, then more tests on her young son. 

"They started treatment the very next day," said Hart.  "He received really intense chemotherapy for the first three weeks after he was diagnosed."

By the eighth day of treatment Brock's cancer was in remission, but the chemo treatments had taken a serious toll on him.  He contracted a serious infection and spent 19 weeks in the hospital, seven of them in the intensive care unit.

Brock's cancer has been in remission for a little while, but his parents are are still guarded about his condition.

"He still struggles with a lot of those complications that he got during the first round of chemo," his mother said.  "They're things that he'll struggle with the rest of his life." 

"We're very thankful that Dr. Crawford has received this grant from Hyundai because it will help him, hopefully, come up with better was to treat cancer," said Hart.  "So that kids like Brock don't suffer so much from the side effects of the harsh chemotherapy."

"There's no question it's not gonna be a broad sweeping thing that'll cure dozens of types of malignancies," said Crawford.  "But we're 'hoping that we'll make an impact."