Peoria doctor receives research grant

By WEEK Producer

September 3, 2013 Updated Sep 3, 2013 at 9:32 AM CDT

PEORIA, IIl. -- Four year-old Lily Rosploch of LaSalle has been undergoing treatment after a cancerous tumor that was removed from one of her kidneys.

She's endured six rounds of chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant and radiation. And while Lily's on the upswing her parents know the treatments can be risky.

"There's always the possibility that other cancers could arise from the treatments," explained Michael Rosploch, Lily's father.

Risk is something Dr. Karen Fernandez is trying to minimize through research at Children's Hospital of Illinois.

On Wednesday, Dr. Fernandez and her research team received a $75,000 Hyundai Hope on Wheels Scholar Grant to use toward their study.

"We intend to track the amount of radiation that patients are exposed to," said Dr. Fernandez. "We are hoping that we can identify a better way to choose the diagnostic image that will give us the most benefit with the least amount of radiation that the patients are exposed to."

Dr. Fernandez and Children's Hospital of Illinois are one of 40 recipients of the Hyundai Hope on Wheels Scholar Grant, a national campaign aimed at ending pediatric cancer.

"(For) every car each Hyundai dealer sells a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Hyundai Hope of Wheels effort. That helps fund similar scholarships to what Dr. Fernandez received," said Brian O'Malley, the regional general manager for Hyundai Motor America.

"The money is going to help us to start the project," said Dr. Fernandez. "We are currently working on some preliminary data at this point that is going to serve as the background for the project."

And who knows, some of that data might be be provided by Lily Rosploch.