Tory Burch Shopping Event for Isabella Santos Foundation: July 12th

We LOVE Tory Burch here at ISF and excited that Tory Burch, SouthPark Mall is holding a shopping event benefiting ISF next Wednesday, July 12th from 6-8pm. This store has supported the foundation for several years, we appreciate our community friends who give back. 20% of the evening’s proceeds will benefit ISF and supporting the fight against childhood cancer





Please RSVP if you plan on attending

Things we hate to do, but still need to be done

Things we hate to do, but still need to be done

I get it.  It’s not a fun thing to do.  You may drive all the way to the center and get turned away.  It’s cold in there.  It may take them a couple of tries to find a good vein.  You are worried you might pass out.  It might be uncomfortable for a while.  It’s boring.  It may take a little longer than you want it to.  I know all these things that go through your head, because they go through mine too.

You would think after our family’s experience, I would be giving blood every chance I could.  But, like you all – I get busy or some of these excuses start ringing in my head.  I have to be honest though, I do try as much as I can to give blood if I have the chance at a blood drive.  Giving blood doesn’t take long at all and other than having to control my alcohol or exercise that day – it doesn’t impact my life too much.  It’s like voting for me.  I feel good doing it and feel proud walking around with my elbow wrapped up in horrible blue tape for a couple of hours.  It’s like a battle scar that somehow says, “I care”.

Platelets.   For some reason this process is a whole new ball game.  I don’t give them as much as I should.  I’m just lazy about it really.  I’m very particular about my platelet giving.  It is a must to have someone with me to entertain me for 90 minutes.  I find that I try to bring Maitland with me so that we can kill two birds with one stone in the chair and knock out as much work as we can.  We sometimes get our best work done in those chairs.  I also like that she keeps my mind focused.  I can’t focus on Isabella too much in those chairs or the experience may become to painful.

I have had some very memorable platelet donations.  As you know, I find it easy to torture myself without even knowing it.  The first anniversary of her death, I decided to schedule a platelet donation during the hours she died of June 28th.  I figured that if I was going to do this in her honor, let’s really do it.  The center was full that day as we were really pushing for 100 platelet donors that week, which is harder than landing on the moon apparently.  I sat in my chair and watched seas of purple come in and out.  Everyone knew that I was struggling because I sat there trying to have conversation, but knowing that tears that were falling slowly from my eyes as I talked.

I could see the hour of her death approaching and I just wanted to die.  My brother came in during that time and sat with me.  I think he gave blood instead of platelets that morning but all I really remember was him being with me.  He was there with me on the day we found out she had cancer, up until the day she died in our house.  He is a quiet brother at times but his presence is heavy.  We don’t often talk during these times about what is really going on in our head – it’s like an unspoken thing.  He knew how hard it was for me as I sat there and sobbed.  He just sat there – understanding how the things we hate to do, still need to be done.  This is not where I wanted to be on this morning and he knew it.  He knew I wanted to be in my bed, sobbing and not sitting here in this gray chair.  But once again, I was doing something, not for myself, but for her.  It was the longest donation of my life – but the most meaningful.

We left that morning together and drove to pick out an engagement ring for his girlfriend, Laura.  He let me be a part of a huge day in his life, maybe because I let him be a part of mine.  We went to lunch and had a drink and laughed.  By then my tears were dried up and I had focused on the excitement of his day.  He was starting a new chapter and I got to be there for it.  It was a good day in the end.

Each year as this date approaches, I feel myself wanting to retreat.  I have gotten a little smarter and try to no longer go during that hour of her passing.  It’s just not a smart thing for me to do anymore.  But I still go.  I go because I know how important blood and platelets were to her survival.  I go because I remember her bruising from the slightest touch and how platelets repaired her body so easily.  I go because I remember her not being able to walk into the hospital, only to find out that she was in such desperate need of a blood transfusion that I would have to carry her tired body everywhere.  She would run out of the clinic after her transfusion, as if the events of the earlier day never occurred.

I go because every time I’m there and I check in, the staff knows me and knows her.  Someone there always says a kind word to me about her legacy and I know there is no where else I should be.

I go because it’s the right thing to do.  I go for her.

Please help us honor Isabella through your platelet donation with The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas during the entire week of June 21-28…AND at ANY of their locations.  Our goal is a 100 donations.

– DATES: Wednesday, June 21st – Wednesday, June 28th
– GOAL: 100 donations
– PHONE: 1-888-59BLOOD / Can call to schedule at any center

100 platelet donations to celebrate Isabella’s life

Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, CBCC, has been near and dear to our hearts since Isabella received numerous blood and platelet transfusions to help her stay strong and fight neuroblastoma.  Since Isabella passed just five years ago, CBCC has sponsored our 5K/10K & 1 mile fun run for Kids Cancer every year in honor of her.  And because CBCC helped sustain Isabella’s life while she was fighting, we host our annual Blood Drive every year on Isabella’s birthday (March 9th) and this year we will be hosting a Platelet drive in honor of her passing on June 28th, 2012.  Platelet Drive will take place Wednesday, June 21st – Wednesday, June 28th at ANY CBCC location.  Call 1-888-59BLOOD to make or email to make your appointment today.  Help us reach our goal of 100 donations!

Many people may not know, but cancer patients are the #1 recipients of blood products.  Sharing Isabella’s story allowed CBCC to show people first-hand the importance of donating blood and hosting blood drives in our community.  Although Isabella lost her life to neuroblastoma, she would have never survived as long as she did without CBCC and the blood products she received.

A note from Martin Grable, CBCC President and CEO…

“Throughout their journey, Isabella Santos’ family has graciously allowed the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas to share her story with our community to highlight the critical importance of blood donation. But they have done so much more than that.

They have become huge supporters of CBCC, attending dozens of our events and hosting blood and platelet drives with us each year. Isabella herself personally worked to spread the word about an ISF and CBCC blood drive held at her elementary school because she so clearly understood the importance of blood donation for patients like her.

Isabella’s family is CBCC’s family, and we truly treasure the relationship we have been able to build over the years. Partnering with such a tremendously dedicated, determined and successful group of people makes what we do at CBCC even more rewarding. Together, we truly are making a difference in the lives of patients and their families in our community.

Those of us at CBCC who had the pleasure of knowing Isabella treasure the memories and miss her dearly. Those of us who were not fortunate enough to meet her remain honored to share her story as we work with ISF and others in our community to maintain a steady blood supply for patients in our local hospitals.”

Please help us honor Isabella through your platelet donation with The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas during the entire week of June 21-28…AND at ANY of their locations.

– DATES: Wednesday, June 21st – Wednesday, June 28th
– GOAL: 100 donations
– PHONE: 1-888-59BLOOD / Can call to schedule at any center


Wish Wednesday returns! We are so excited for our 10th annual 5K/10K/Fun Run for Kids Cancer on September 30th and want to make it the best yet! One of the most anticipated (for old and young) activities of our event is the Raffle/Silent auction.  We have many participants that come to the race JUST FOR the Raffle and Silent Auction.  We have something for everyone. But we need your help to get us there.

Every year, as we move into the auction gathering stage we ask for your help to help fill our auction baskets.  All things LEGOS… easily one of our most popular packages.  We put together a massive basket with lego sets, toys, books for both boy and girl.   We would love your help in purchasing legos for our silent auction. Click here to shop via our Amazon list. You can add it to your cart and it ships right to us:

If you prefer to go to Target or another store, just mail it to us at:
500 Smokey Hollow Drive
Waxhaw, NC, 28173

Join Us: #BobAwardsCLT

Since 1999, Charlotte magazine has dedicated its May issue to the BEST OF THE BEST, a.k.a. the BOB awards.  These awards recognize the city’s finest in food and drink, nightlife, entertainment, shopping, mind and body, and more–hundreds of winners in all. And then they throw a huge PARTY! Isabella Santos Foundation is excited to be their non-profit partner.


Attendees will enjoy delicious food samples from BOB Award-winning restaurants, complimentary beer from Lenny Boy Brewing Co., carnival games, live entertainment, and more! They also bringing back their BOB-Award Winner auction benefiting the Isabella Santos Foundation as their charity partner.

VIP tickets include: Early entry at 6:30p.m., access to the Diamonds Direct VIP lounge and drink tickets for the VIP bar. PLUS, BOB Award winning mixologist Bob Peters of The Punch Room, will be crafting a signature cocktail exclusively for the VIP lounge.

Thursday, June 8th, 2017
7:00—10:00 p.m.
at The Underground
-820 Hamilton St.-


General admission tickets – $40

VIP tickets – $85 and include early entry at 6:30 p.m., access to the Diamonds Direct VIP lounge and 4 drink tickets for the bar. PLUS, BOB Award-winning mixologist Bob Peters of The Punch Room will be crafting a signature cocktail exclusively in the Diamonds Direct VIP lounge for VIP ticket holders.


The 2017 BOB Award winners were featured in Charlotte Magazine’s May issue, which is on news stands now. You can also purchase a copy here.

Hope Is Definitely Brewing

Photo courtesy of Daniel Cordero

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the results of our 2nd Annual COFFEE FOR A CURE. Just a few short weeks ago, more than 700 men and women gathered at Carmel Country Club in Charlotte, NC to not only learn more about Isabella’s story …but they also gathered to fill a room with hope.

Hope for a cure. 

This two-day event served as a call to action in the fight against pediatric cancer and to educate community members on the importance of bringing pediatric cancer treatments home to Charlotte.

Greg Olsen & Grant Santos, Photo courtesy of Laura Stikeleather

We are blown away, humbled, honored, and beyond grateful that the event raised $185,000 and donations keep coming in.  Not only were we excited to have Carolina Panthers’ Greg Olsen, WBTV Host Molly Grantham, Charlotte Lifestyle Personality Emily Maynard and Levine Children’s Hospital Head Oncologist Dr. Javier Oesterheld as key note speakers, but we were also honored to be joined by several other community supporters who touched everyone with their words: Grant SantosJackson & Tammy Lowry, and Melanie Miller.

During the event, we introduced our new major gift society, called The Three Wish Circle, With an annual gift of $5000 or more, donors can take their support of the ISF mission to the next level by funding more research for Neuroblastoma and help to bring innovative treatment options to our local community.  We were blown away that within 3 weeks of launching it, 15 individuals had already committed to it. If you have questions or want to know more about how to take your support to the next level, contact our ISF Development Director, Tia Wackerhagen.

Levine Children’s Hospital Head Oncologist Dr. Javier Oesterheld, Photo courtesy of Laura Stikeleather

Additionally, we recognize someone in the community each year, who lives a life with the same dreams and aspirations as Isabella and who is trying to make a difference in the world.  This year at our Coffee events, we were excited to recognize not only one, but three great people with our 5th Annual Isabella Santos Award.  Congratulations to Jackson Lowry, Lisa Weaver and Stephanie Grigg. Each of these three individuals have given back to their Charlotte community in different ways and we are super grateful to have them support ISF and other local non-profits.

Lastly, we could not have put this wonderful event together if it wasn’t for the support of our community businesses who help us through their sponsorship. It is through their passion for charitable giving and making a local impact that we are able to continue Isabella’s fight.

To everyone who supports us…we cannot begin to put words to how grateful that we are for the impact you are helping us make. We are so proud of what we have accomplished together and it is because of YOU. We do not do this alone and could not continue our fight without your help. We humbly thank each of you and look forward to a world with no more cancer where we will beat cancer, grow hair and live the dreams of all children fighting the fight.

With gratitude,
The ISF Team
Brighthouse Financial
Maxim Tickets/PSL Source
Bull Engineered Products
Community Blood Center of the Carolinas
Diamonds Direct
Carolinas Healthcare System
Levine Children’s Hospital
Charlotte Radiology
Novant Health Carmel OBGYN
Morgan Property Group
Pegram Superior Insurance
Tom Bush Law Group
Dermatology Laser and Vein Specialists of The Carolinas
Center for Integrative Sleep Medicine LLC
Scoop Charlotte
Next Stage Consulting
Southpark Pediatric Dentistry
Pure Barre
Southpark – A Simon Mall
Sign Up Genius
Little Nest Portraits
Moxie Mercantile
Magnolia Cottage Design
Blooming Events
Royal Cup
Pink Petunia
Stikeleather Photography



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