New Name. Same Heart: Brighthouse Financial Established by MetLife

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.

MetLife has been an incredible partner for us over the years and with their new spinoff to Brighthouse Financial, it made sense to continue our partnership in 2017.  New name, same people, same heart.

Brighthouse Financial will not only be our our presenting sponsor for our 10th Annual 5k/10k and 1 mile fun run for Kids Cancer on September 30th, 2017, they will be supporting all our events throughout the year.

We have been so thankful for the commitment and dedication this company has given to supporting the Isabella Santos Foundation and helping us make a difference in the lives of kids with Neuroblastoma.  We simply could not do what we do without the community support behind our foundation.  Thank you Brighthouse Financial in supporting our mission to find a cure for Neuroblastoma!

Brighthouse Financial established by MetLife

At Brighthouse Financial, we are on a mission to help Americans achieve the financial futures they envision. Our world is changing every day. People are living longer, and the ways in which we save, invest and plan for the future are evolving. Our money must last longer than ever before. Drawing on our history as part of MetLife, Inc., we are well positioned to meet these changing needs. Through our life insurance and annuity solutions, we are committed to empowering people to choose their path to financial security with confidence. It has never been more important.

Visit the Brighthouse Financial website


Looking Back: 2nd 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.

2nd Annual ISF Award, Corianne Blotevogel (2014)

2nd Annual ISF Award, Corianne Blotevogel (2013)

We are convinced if Isabella didn’t pass away from Neuroblastoma… she would have grown up to be just like Corianne.  We wish these two could have met, they would have been fast friends (especially through their love of all things animals!).  Corianne has been described as a superhero disguised as an angel and through personal hardships, physical hardships and loss, she has tremendous strength and an incredible positive attitude towards life. Her motto: “it’s not about forcing happiness, it’s about not letting the sadness win.”  Corianne is always looking for fun and creative ways to fundraise for various organizations and we are honored that ISF has been one of them. Some of the many groups that she has supported in addition to The Isabella Santos Foundation are Big Brothers and Big Sisters, The American Cancer Society, Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, Headbands of Hope, St Baldricks, Coltrane Life Center, JDRF, Second Harvest Food Bank, Locks of Love and countless other Random Acts of Kindness that play out in her life on a daily basis. Corianne is the real deal and wants to make a difference for those struggling to win life’s many battles. Isabella would have loved Corianne and the many things she does to inspire and help others.

She also has been fighting her own battle with an incurable disease.  In 2008, she’d been perfectly healthy, running regularly, when she began getting sick.  Over the course of a month, she went to urgent care four times, but was only treated for her symptoms.  On the last visit they told her to go to an Emergency Room.  She ended up being found, passed out in the hospital ER parking lot, by a police officer.  Many days after being admitted, she left with a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes.  This is not the type of diabetes that is typically linked with being overweight and sedentary.  Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune condition, where the body no longer produces any or produces only very trace amounts of insulin.  It’s not yet known what causes this type of diabetes, but it’s most likely from genetics and/or a virus.  A virus is believed to have been the culprit for Corianne’s diagnosis.

Despite Corianne’s Type 1 Diabetes, she continues to push forward and train for races year after year.  In 2012, she completed a full marathon while raising funds for charity.  Since then she runs many distances and continues to train with the Isabella Santos Foundation Dream Team…. all in honor of Isabella and other kids fighting cancer.  This lady doesn’t stop.

In Corianne’s own words…  just a few of the reasons she fights so hard:

  • For Isabella and her wishes to beat cancer, grow hair and live her dreams.
  • For the girl selling chocolate bars from her hospital room to help pay for treatment.

    2nd Annual ISF Award, Corianne Blotevogel (2013)

  • For the strong girl who is now so fragile.
  • For the girl that can’t sit up or walk anymore.
  • For the girl I made smile so big, then closed the door and cried to myself.
  • For the boy who can’t see anymore.
  • For the kids stuck in sterile rooms this weekend.
  • For the kids whose hope is experimental possibility.
  • For the kids who eat their breakfast, lunch and dinner via a tube shoved up their nose.
  • For the little bald heads, hair lost little by little during the fight of their lives.
  • For the moms and dads spending days, weeks, months in the hospital begging their kids to endure just a little bit more or handle yet another procedure knowing there is now a chance they will outlive their child.
  • For the kids who went home this weekend after ringing the celebratory bell.
  • For the kids who went home with their families and the news that nothing more can be done.
  • For the kids that are now only case studies, memories, pictures on walls and names of organizations.

“Change is possible when we decide to stop just talking and start doing something about problems. Cancer is a problem. I ran today for ISF, with Isabella and the dozens of other names and faces from volunteering at the children’s hospital this year running through my head because this matters.  #nomorecancer #isabellasdreamteam #actioncreateshope”                – Corianne Blotevogel

2nd Annual ISF Award, Corianne Blotevogel (2013)

Looking Back: 1st 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.

1st Annual ISF Award, Chrissy Bush (2013)

If you know Isabella’s story well, you know the name Mrs. Chrissy.  Mrs. Chrissy was Isabella’s best friend.  Her quiet giving blew us away over the years from afar.  For years, Mrs. Chrissy would get up at 5am to cook for the homeless on Saturday mornings, she volunteered each week at the free health clinic to assist in providing medical care for those in need, she fosters animals who need homes, she runs a diabetes camp in the summer for children and the list goes on and on.  The best thing about Mrs. Chrissy is that she never tells you that she does these things.  She does them because she honestly just has an amazing heart and wants no recognition for it.  And let’s not forget the thing that has touched all of us at ISF the most.. her love of Isabella.  She knew Isabella’s story was not going to end well but she still opened her heart to her and provided her with comfort, love and support like she were her own daughter.  For us there is nothing better than people like Mrs. Chrissy and Isabella in this world and they should be recognized for what they provide to our communities.  So many of us strive to be more like them each and every day.




One Heart. One Mission.

It’s hard to believe, but this will be the fourth season of Isabella’s Dream Team. What started as a simple idea to introduce runners to this great Charlotte charity has become a movement. We are runners and run walkers that range from novice to competitive that believe in something that is much bigger than any single one of us. How can we make a difference right now for kids that are fighting cancer? We choose to define ourselves by our action and we want you to join us.

Our team has experienced tremendous growth over the past three seasons and we do not expect anything less in 2017.

2014: 25 participants raising $34,608
2015: 64 participants raising $114,479
2016: 150 participants raising $165,078

The passion that drives this team is something I never imagined. You see, I am one of many that never met Isabella. Most have only been introduced to her through pictures, stories and videos. I knew I wanted to get involved with this foundation when I watched a video and heard her tiny voice.


Isabella’s Dream Team is an endurance running program that raises money for The Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF), while training for half and full marathons. ISF is a Charlotte non-profit charity that raises money for Neuroblastoma research, as well as, supports our community (Community Blood Centers of the Carolinas, Levine Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish Central & Western NC & Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte).

In 2016, we were voted the Best Charity Program by Endurance Magazine.

We continue to be a grassroots effort, and look to grow our impact locally and expand into other communities. We are currently recruiting runners and run walkers to join our passionate team in Charlotte, and surrounding areas. If you are not local to Charlotte, join us virtually from your town, select your own race and still be a part of this wonderful cause.

The fundraising component is minimal compared to the larger charities that ask you to cover the difference if you do not meet the minimum. We simply ask each participant to commit to fundraising at least $500, but our hope is that each person will fundraise much more than that. We offer high end incentives that will run each month during the season to encourage everyone to raise the bar.  In 2016, we were voted the Best Charity Program by Endurance Magazine.

Our target races this year: Isabella Santos Foundation 10K/5K for Kids Cancer (9/30), Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah (11/4) and Charlotte Marathon (11/11).

  • New this year: Train with the team for the ISF 10K on Sept 30th.
  • RnR Savannah offers a half and full marathon, and a half marathon relay (6-7 miles per person).
  • Charlotte Marathon offers a half and full marathon, and a marathon relay (5 runners: 4-6 miles increments).
  • New this year: “One to run. One for fun.” challenge to run back to back half marathons in Savannah & Charlotte. $1,000 minimum fundraising commitment comes with swag bag filled with lots of goodies.
  • We’ve had teammates in the past run: Chicago Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon, New York City Marathon, and numerous others as part of our team. It’s your choice what race you’d like to do, and we could always adjust the training schedule to match your race.


  • Training schedules (10K, half, half marathon relay, marathon & marathon relay) – training starts the week of July 10th.
  • Team swag
  • Weekend long runs, weekday run options
  • Socials
  • Camaraderie
  • Motivation


  • Email Coach Tom at
  • Create your First Giving fundraising page: 2017 Isabella’s Dream Team
    • $500 commitment for 10K, half or full marathon.
    • $1,000 commitment for the “One to run. One for fun.” back-to-back challenge.
  • Register for your race and distance
  • Recruit your friends, family, coworkers to join via social media and let them know you just joined #isabellasdreamteam

Our goal this year: 200 participants raising $200,000. 

Training starts July 10th.

Are you in?

CBCC Community Support Award

We were so honored to receive an award from Community Blood Center of the Carolinas for community support! Martin Grable and his amazing team has been such a great partner, supporter, sponsor and especially friend to us in our mission. We need funding to help further research… and they need blood donation to save and prolong lives. If you are healthy and able- Please take the time when you can. If you have never tried/ try today. It’s so easy. Let’s save lives together. Thank you CBCC for ALL you do for the Carolinas. We ???? you!

Schedule your appointment today here: