RICHMOND, Va. (April 18, 2012) –– Denny Hamlin, FedEx #11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver, announced that the Denny Hamlin Foundation will give $150,000 to Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to help fund cystic fibrosis research and clinical trials for cystic fibrosis in Richmond.
“This is a big day for the Denny Hamlin Foundation,” Hamlin said. “It is exactly what I envisioned the foundation doing when I started it five years ago, and we’ve worked hard to get to a point where we can give this kind of gift.”
“VCU is one of the country’s leading research centers for CF, and it is right here in our own backyard,” Hamlin said. “I am honored to support such an outstanding organization with people who are making a difference in the world.”
The Denny Hamlin Foundation will give $50,000 for the next three years for CF research and to support the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU Therapeutics Development Center, which conducts all phases of clinical trials for potential CF therapies.
“I have been caring for children and adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) for more than 35 years and my laboratory has been studying CF and developing new therapy for over 25 years,” said Bruce Rubin, MEngr, M.D., MBA, professor and chair of the VCU Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. “This generous donation will help accelerate our ability to bring these therapies to our patients, and the newly established Denny Hamlin Foundation Summer Scholars program will help us train the next generation of CF research scientists.”
CF is a fatal genetic disease that affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). CF causes chronic infections in the lungs and inadequate digestion of nutrients. There is no cure for CF, but medical advances have doubled the life expectancy of children in the last 30 years and increased the overall median age of survival to 38.
Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) has a large research staff focused on finding a cure for CF. Studies by Dr. Rubin’s research group have been critical in developing new therapies for CF. They have recently discovered a promising CF lung disease treatment that is in development and undergoing pre-clinical testing at CHoR. As the only accredited CF center in the region, CF patients cared for at CHoR have access to the latest therapies and can participate in groundbreaking clinical studies.
According to Dr .Rubin, CF research and care has much in common with NASCAR racing. “It is the talented pit crew that makes sure it all works. My pit crew is the many amazing scientists in the labs and the fantastic clinical care team. And just as sponsors keep the wheels on the car and gas in the tank, sponsorship of our CF care and research center by the Denny Hamlin Foundation will allow us to compete at the international level as we race to find a cure for CF.”
Hamlin began donating money from his race winnings to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation when he started racing go karts as a child. “Finding a cure for CF is important to me because my cousin has it,” Hamlin said. “I intend to keep giving until a cure is found.”
The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown is the main event sponsored by the Denny Hamlin Foundation. The race is April 26 and is an opportunity for top local drivers to compete against Nationwide and Sprint Cup NASCAR drivers. Proceeds from this race will go towards the grant to CHoR, as well as other charities the foundation supports.
# # #
About Denny Hamlin Foundation
The Denny Hamlin Foundation was created in 2008 to aid in raising awareness and funding for Cystic Fibrosis research and treatment, as well as to support other not for profit corporations that focus on aiding children with debilitating illnesses. For more information visit www.dennyhamlinfoundation.org.
About Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Children’s Medical Center and Children’s Hospital joined in 2010 to form Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, a full-service children’s hospital within the VCU Medical Center offering a robust continuum of pediatric services, research and education. CHoR offers the widest range of pediatric services in the region including emergency, primary, secondary, advanced tertiary and long-term care. CHoR has 12 locations across Central Virginia and provides over 40 pediatric medical/surgical services. Clinical and laboratory researchers at CHoR are making medical advances in asthma, cancer, cystic fibrosis, genetics, infectious diseases, obesity and many other fields.