The Comedy Zone: Drafts + Laughs, April 6

A REALLY funny night for a GREAT cause at The Comedy Zone in Charlotte! Headlined by the hilarious (Charlottean turned New Yorker) Paul Hooper and featuring a man who is a lawyer AND a comedian (don’t worry, he’s a much better comedian than he is a lawyer) Will Jacobs and emceed by former Woody and Wilcox Show intern, John Colwell. Your admission gets you a ticket to the show, a commemorative drinking vessel and a delicious “Woody and Wilcox Hop Experiment” beer from NoDa Brewing Company. Proceeds go to The Isabella Santos Foundation. Finding a cure for rare pediatric cancers.

Check out Paul Hooper here

10 Years in 10 Minutes

10 years in 10 minutes. A glimpse of Isabella’s sweet soul, the legacy her parents fight to build to save children like her, and what the Isabella Santos Foundation is doing today in her honor to help kids with cancer.


Looking Back: 4th Annual Isabella Santos Award

Caring. Compassionate. Leader. At the end of March we will be giving away the 5th Annual Isabella Santos Award.  Each year we recognize someone in the community who lives a life with the same dreams and aspirations as Isabella and who is trying to make a difference in the world.  Help us celebrate the past winners over the next week.

4th Annual ISF Award, Susan Sears (2015)

Susan is very well known in the Charlotte Community. Not only has she done so much for us at The Isabella Santos Foundation, but she also dedicates herself to many other great organizations like Go Jen Go, Komen Race for the Cure and Girls on the Run. Susan does everything with heart and with passion and puts in 110% to each cause she feels drawn to. A few years ago, we were lucky enough to gain her interest and a part of her heart. When we reached out to the people Susan works closely with in our community- the feedback we got was incredible. It is no surprise that they all love her as much as we do!

She allows her heart to guide her actions, and in today’s world, that makes her extraordinary. She loved Jen and Jen’s fight and vowed to make a difference in our community. She has certainly made a difference in our lives and we are honored to have her in our ranks!” Britt Yett, Go Jen Go

” She has been one of my first calls when I needed someone who would come in and make a difference. She is soft spoken but able to move mountains. We need leaders who are willing to go the extra mile, and Susan is always willing to answer the call” – Park Williams with Komen for a Cure

It goes without saying that our entire ISF team can personally attest to her passion as well. She has helped with our 5k for Kids Cancer, runs with our dream team, ran the NYC marathon to help honor Isabella, attends many events we have and is a consistent volunteer and supporter whenever she is called upon. She is truly remarkable.

The same inspirational qualities that we knew in Isabella, also shine in Susan. She has a way about her that is genuine, inviting and kind and we know without a doubt that Isabella would have adored her and they would have been lifelong friends.

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

As our fundraising season moves full steam ahead with our Coffee for a Cure events scheduled at the end of March, we want to introduce you to some amazing companies that have decided to partner with us for the 2017 year as a Sustaining Sponsor.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.  Not only has Diamonds Direct stepped up to be a 2017 sustaining sponsor in an effort to support all our events throughout the year, they are providing us with jewelry giveaways for many of our events.  What girl wouldn’t love that?  Diamonds Direct has supported the Isabella Santos Foundation and Isabella’s mission to cure Neuroblastoma for years by donating jewelry to our annual 5K/10K and 1mile fun run for Kids Cancer.    Thank you Diamonds Direct for being part of the ISF family!

Diamonds Direct

Diamonds Direct’s brick and mortar locations can be found across the south and are accompanied by a personally curated online shopping experience that has been developed to deliver the same phenomenal customer service and quality synonymous with the Diamonds Direct name.

Visit the Diamonds Direct website

Looking Back: 3rd Annual Isabella Santos Award

Caring. Compassionate. Leader. At the end of March we will be giving away the 5th Annual Isabella Santos Award.  Each year we recognize someone in the community who lives a life with the same dreams and aspirations as Isabella and who is trying to make a difference in the world.  Help us celebrate the past winners over the next week.

3rd Annual ISF Award, Emily Ratliff (2015)

Erin Santos & Emily Ratliff

In May, 2011, Emily Ratliff’s life was turned upside down when her daughter, Claire, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. Just eight short months later, on January 17, 2012, Emily and her husband, Kevin, would suffer an even greater tragedy, the loss of Claire at the tender age of 2 years, 4 months.

Having grown up in Charlotte, the Ratliffs had lots of friends and family close by, who provided much needed support for the Ratliffs while Claire was going through treatment. That network of family, friends and neighbors quickly became known as Claire’s “Army.”  Although the Ratliffs had lots of support, the Ratliffs also encountered many families who did not have that kind of network/support or who were coming to the Charlotte area hospitals for treatment, far away from their friends and family back home.

As Emily grieved the loss of her own child, it began weighing on her heart and mind that she needed to do something to help other families going through the pediatric cancer nightmare.  From Emily’s heart and vision, the nonprofit organization, Claire’s Army, Inc. was established, with the goal of providing pediatric cancer families with an “army” who will support them just as Claire’s Army had during her fight.

Emily Ratliff and her father, Larry

But it is not just her work through Claire’s Army that keeps Emily connected to the pediatric cancer community.  Emily gives of herself more than her peers in one other huge way—her job.   After Claire passed away, Emily became a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and works on the very floor of the hospital where Claire was treated, assisting other families going through cancer treatment.  Given the de minimus salary of CNAs, it is clear that Emily chose her career field with her servant’s heart and selfless spirit.   Emily’s sweet, quiet, and compassionate demeanor is certainly a comfort to anyone who has the privilege of encountering her.

Emily Ratliff inspires others because she took the most painful event of her life, looked for ways to serve and support other families going through similar circumstances in her community, and then delivered in a big way.  Emily is an incredible role model for all to follow.  Even young children have been inspired by Emily’s vision for serving families fighting pediatric cancer.  For example, kids have donated all of their birthday gifts to children who are in the hospital through Claire’s army or hosted lemonade stands or bake sales and sent the profits to Claire’s Army to help other kids or hosted blood drives through their schools.  Despite her busy schedule of juggling family, work and a nonprofit organization, Emily still takes time to personally write these kids and thank them for their support for pediatric cancer families.

Emily works through the social workers and child life specialists at Novant Hospital to find out what the families’ needs are and then diligently works to fulfill those needs.  To the extent that the need is not something that the Army can fulfill, Emily sets out on a course to work other connections as hard as she can to make sure the need is fulfilled.  Emily never gives up fighting when she believes there is a way to make something happen.

Claire’s Army mission is to support families fighting childhood cancer.  Visit Claire’s Army website today to see how you can help out.