Did you know this week is National Volunteer Week?  Here at ISF, we LOVE our volunteers.  Our organization couldn’t operate without volunteers.  As we continue to grow, so does our need for more volunteers.  This is where we could use your help.

We have a variety of events and volunteer opportunities throughout each year.  You can help make a difference in our mission by volunteering your time or your talent.  Or, you can help by donating a good or service to one of our events.  Students earning service hours are welcome.

If interested, please email our Event and Volunteer Coordinator, Karen Murphy, if you are interested in joining our ISF Volunteer team.  Not only do we have a good time, you will meet some great people!


  • 5K/10K For Kids Cancer Race:  race logistics, set-up, water-stations, kids fun zone, vendor support & more
  • ISF Auction Committee
  • Annual Coffee for a Cure
  • Various Events & Races throughout the Charlotte region where ISF is a beneficiary
  • Guys with Ties Casino Night
  • ISF Logistics:  tactical to-dos like stuffing swag bags, ect.


Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Over the past three seasons, Isabella’s Dream Team has been fortunate to have the support of our community. This year is no exception. Our team continues to grow and so does our community support.

Team Sponsor: OrthoCarolina

This is the second year that OrthoCarolina will be our sponsor and we can’t thank them enough for supporting our mission and help us grow in the Charlotte community. OrthoCarolina is one of the nation’s leading orthopedic practices and your destination for comprehensive orthopedic care.

Team Partners:

Omega Sports has been with us since the inception of this team, and has provided VIP treatment to us every year. We always look forward to our group runs with Omega Nation and we can’t thank them enough for their unwavering support. Best Service in Sports Since 1978.

Core Revolution is new this year and will be our cross-training headquarters. We are extremely excited to partner with them. Their South Charlotte location offers:

  • Cycle with smart software creating visual simulations and feedback throughout your ride
  • Rep N Ride is a circuit training class that builds strength and endurance as you rotate through eight stations during the 45-minute class
  • Barre Rev’d features dynamic resistance training designed to target specific muscle groups that will lengthen and strengthen core, legs, arms and glutes for a full body workout.
  • To check out their class schedule www.corerevclt.com. FIRST CLASS IS FREE.

The main thread that all three share is that they are all very eager to give back to our community. That’s why we are thrilled to have them on our team and excited to shine the spotlight on them, run with them and make them part of our training throughout the year.

What’s New in 2017?

New to our training schedule will be a training program for the Isabella Santos 10K (Sept 30th). If you’re not quite ready for a half marathon, this would be a great stepping stone. Fundraising Commitment Level: $500.00 minimum.

One to Run. One for Fun. This is a challenge to run the Rock N Roll Savannah Half Marathon Nov 5th and run the Charlotte Half Marathon Nov 11th. We’ve had several participants do this throughout the years, but this year we are adding additional swag and twice the fun. Fundraising Commitment Level: $1,000.00 minimum

Always an option:

As part of our giveback initiative, we are proud to announce that this year Isabella’s Dream Team will:

Our team has raised $314,165.00 over the past three years and if we hit our goal of $200,000 this year, that will mean over a half million dollars has been raised to help kids fighting cancer right now.

Want to join us? You can find out more information about us here: One Team. One Mission.

How to join the team?

  • Email Coach Tom at tom@isabellasantosfoundation.org
  • Create your First Giving fundraising page: 2017 Isabella’s Dream Team
    • $500 commitment (per person)
    • $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

Training starts July 10th.

Are you in?



Your Donations at Work Fighting Childhood Cancers, $175,000 Granted

The Children’s Oncology Group is the first line of defense for a child diagnosed with cancer–including neuroblastoma.  In 2016, we were so proud to have been able to donate a total of $175,000 to three of their children’s cancer trials and programs for 2017.  Next month, we are excited to have Dr. Peter Adamson, Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group, with us in Charlotte to speak at a private event.  We look forward to hearing more about the advancements of the trials and programs you helped us fund.  Below you can read what each children’s cancer trial or program entails.


We are proud to have donated 100K for a Phase 3 trial to specifically evaluate the effectiveness of frontline MIBG therapy for children with newly diagnosed high-risk neuroblastoma that will open in the summer of 2017. Up to 800 patients will enroll on this trial. A trial of this scale will not only answer key clinical questions regarding targeted therapies, but will also provide an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate novel biomarkers that may guide treatment for future patients. We hypothesize that rational selection of therapy based on results of validated biomarker studies will improve the care of children with newly diagnosed high-risk neuroblastoma, thereby reducing the number of children who relapse and reducing the burden of late effects of therapy. ISF will be supporting this study as well as the cost of supplying blood and tumor samples that will help us understand which children are most likely to benefit from MIBG therapy.


Could you imagine if we could prevent some of the frightening processes that children have to go through just to detect cancer?  The treatments are tough enough so we are eager to see another option for these kids who are facing so much already.  By supporting Project Every Child in 2017, ISF is helping an exciting technology that has been developed within test tubes that will allow cancer to be detected through a blood test.  Circulating tumor DNA may provide a method for monitoring disease status during treatment and may be a means with which to detect changes in neuroblastoma mutation status without the need for invasive biopsies.  Currently, children are put through painful procedures as well as exposure to repeated radiation to determine if cancer is present in their system, which may no longer be necessary with this new technology.


Project EveryChild is a single research study run by The Children’s Oncology Group that aims to capture the biology and outcome of every child diagnosed with cancer in the United States.  Participation is offered to every child diagnosed with cancer, no matter how common or rare the cancer may be.  The ultimate goal is to collect biospecimens, including tumor tissue, host, and when feasible, parental DNA samples, which are stored at the COG’s state-of-the-art biorepository at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.  These samples may then be utilized by any scientist in their studies to find new and improved cure for pediatric cancer.

ISF Volunteer Opportunity: Auction Committee

We can’t believe that it is almost May.  We have had such a wonderful start to 2017 and excited to dive into bringing you the BEST 5K and10K for Kids Cancer Race in September that you have seen yet.  This is our 10th annual Charlotte 5K and 10K race event and we look forward to celebrating Isabella’s life in the best possible way while bringing our community together.

At the 5K and 10K for Kids Cancer Race we have become known for our SILENT AUCTION.  What started out as a fun idea of having 20 raffles baskets available years ago has blossomed into fantastic way to raise funds for neuroblastoma research and pediatric cancer.  In 2016, our ISF Silent Auction and Raffle raised $80,000!  That is incredible!  Our raffle and silent auction includes beauty/spa packages, sporting events, date night outs, vacations, jewelry and more.  There is something for everyone.  We are looking for new volunteers to join our Auction Committee to help us.  Not only is volunteering for ISF rewarding, we can guarantee you will have fun while meeting many great faces.

“When I originally became involved with ISF, I was a volunteer on the Auction Committee.  Every year we host a huge auction at our annual 5k/10k for Kids Cancer in September.  The auction has become a staple at the race and is responsible for a large percentage of the monies raised at this event.  I felt such pride in being a part of something bigger than myself with a purpose of helping children fight cancer!  I didn’t necessarily have as much time to devote as I would have liked, but I did what I could.  I can truly say being a part of ISF has changed my life in so many wonderful and fulfilling ways! Today, I am the Auction Co-Chair and I couldn’t be more proud to lead such a giving and fun team!   We have several needs for this important committee.  Anyone with a passion to help others who can dedicate some time to helping us create an incredible 10 year anniversary auction this year is welcome!  We have needs for individuals who are not shy to ask for donation from businesses, or who have connections in the community.  We also need those who have time to fill out applications for donations, help organize the auction items, and help us wrap the packages!  We have room for anyone who can help!”  – Andrea Isaac, Auction Co-Chair
We have our first Auction Committee interest meeting on Wednesday May 3rd at 7:30pm.  If you can’t make the first meeting, we can send you details!  Please contact Andrea Isaac for the meeting location, if you are interested in learning more or have questions!  If you are business who would like to donate an item, all items are welcome!  Its great advertising as our auction is in front of thousands at the event itself as well as online!

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