Pediatric Cancer Event, Dixie Pig Tega Cay: April 27

Got plans on Saturday, April 27? How about heading to the Dixie Pig in Tegay Cay for a day of fun to benefit pediatric cancer research through ISF and Levine Children’s Hospital?

Great Saturday event for the entire family starting at 1pm and running through 5… live and silent auctions, live music, bounce houses, and more. Thanks to Blue Blaze Brewing, Dreamchaser’s Brewery and NoDa Brewing Company for donating beer so all sales go directly to pediatric cancer research!

  • Live & silent auction (Autographed Jaire Alexander Green Bay Packer Jersey, Jet Blue tickets, a weekend in Blowing Rock, gift cards to local restaurants and salons, ect).
  • Free bounce houses (sponsored by Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge) for the kids,
  • Live music
  • Beer purchases from Blue Blaze, Dreamchasers, and NoDa breweries go directly to the event.

Come on out for a great afternoon and make a difference in a child’s life!


  • WHEN: Saturday, April 27, 2019
  • TIME: 1pm-5pm
  • WHERE: Dixie Pig Tega Cay: 2150 Gold Hill Rd, Fort Mill SC

The ISF Skinny – April 2019 Edition

March Executive Director Dish

March is always a big one for us here at ISF.  Isabella’s 14th birthday would have been March 9th and each year we try to think of new ways to honor her but also do it in a way that is respectful of the day.  I’m always anti-birthday cake and a Happy Birthday song on that day and as many of you know – I stay far away to preserve my own heart.   I personally always think blood drives are the way to go.  What better way to honor a life, than to give a life?  

Our relationship with the Community Blood Center (which will be changing their name to “One Blood”, but same community mission and same team) is stronger than ever.  One of the big things I’m working on this year is defining the meaning of PARTNERSHIP.  I saw a quote once that has just stuck with me…

“If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”

Our partnership with CBCC is one of our favorites because we believe in each other’s missions and want to do everything we can to make each other a success.  It really is like a family dynamic for us, much like Levine Children’s Hospital.  So what better way to celebrate Isabella, than with our family?  I loved watching the social media from afar (yup, I got the heck out of dodge).  Of course, we have our old school ISF supporters who have been there from the beginning, but I loved seeing the new wave of ISF sitting in those donations chairs.  I know the lines were long and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate each and every single person who took the time to give.  In all, 239 units were collected and 717 lives were impacted.  I mean… come on.  That’s insane.  I truly can’t express how much this personally meant to me. My goal is to one day have a 500 unit drive and I’m thinking 2020 is our year. 

Speaking of the blood center, my Marketing Director Rachel Wood and I boarded a plane for DC last month as I was honored with a national award from the American Blood Center.  It was such a humbling experience receiving the Larry Frederick Award for our commitment to raising awareness for the need of blood donation.  Larry was there to introduce me and watching him raise a picture of my daughter on stage to a silent room really broke my heart.  Larry was so touched by her story and the people that we met that evening were amazing.  Thank you to Marin Grable and his team for the nomination.  It really was a beautiful evening.

Right off the plane and right into the Jersey Mike’s Day of Giving.   Speaking of great partnerships.  Boy, do we appreciate our Jersey Mike’s partnership!  The team did such an amazing job of spreading the word and wow did our supporters deliver.  Last year we raised just over $135,000 and this year we blew it out of the water raising just over $167,000 for ISF.  The owners of Jersey Mike’s and their staff rocked it out that day in their Cancer Messed with the Wrong Team shirts.  You had to be living under a rock to not see your social media channels flooded with subs.  We love partners in the community like this who understand the importance of giving back.  What an impact they made in one single day on top of a giving month as well.  Unreal.

As you know, one of my other philosophies at ISF is to “Work Smarter.  Not Harder.”  For this reason in 2019 we really narrowed our focus to Charlotte.  We dropped some of our expansion events that were successful, but lots of work and travel.  Instead, we are looking to grow our reach in the Charlotte community.  I feel like the impact we are making here in Charlotte at Levine’s over the next 5 years should be something every single Charlottean should care about – so we are focusing on you.  And not to mention what having a successful nation-wide known rare pediatric cancer program in our city… who and what that will attract.  Simply put, we are working to help make our city better.  For that reason, our May event calendar is slammed.  

Our traditional Coffee for Cure events are being revamped.  As a non-profit, it is important to keep those events new, current, and relevant.  So we have a host of events coming up in May geared around Moms.  Cancer Moms are handed one crappy deck of cards in life and the amount of time they have to spend keeping their children alive doesn’t leave much time left for them to also find a cure for their disease.  So we are working in their honor in the month of May and letting you know how Cancer Messed With the Wrong Mom.  We are not only supporting the Moms who are fighting for children but also funding research so desperately needed for their rare cancer patients. Take a look at the May Garden Parties and let us know if you want to join.  So many of you understand the importance of what we are doing and we need your support.  Attend the events if you can, bring a friend to introduce her to ISF, donate in honor of a Mom, donate in honor of a child.  We just ask that you do something with ISF in May to make a difference.  These kids (and Moms) need your help.

Also, all of these May events have expenses associated with them and we would LOVE to cover them through the generosity of sponsorships.  Thank you to Pure Intentions Coffee who will be providing coffee for all events! Owner, Matt Yarmey, is on our Board of Directors and takes his role in our Charlotte community serious. We love how he has jumped in to help us make a difference. If your business is looking to get in front of the amazing philanthropic community of women in Charlotte, please email me, I would love to talk to about how your business can become a “partner” of ours.  You know we believe in growing great partnerships!!!  

Whew!  That was a busy month!  I feel like I say that every month though.   We hope you all have a wonderful spring break this month and come back energized for the big May events we have coming up at ISF.  And again, thank you for all the support you provided in March that allowed us to have one our best months to date.  You guys are the best. 

Erin (Isabella’s Mommy)

A Group of Cancer Moms Making an Impact on Their Community

When Rae’s daughter, Sofia, was diagnosed with High-Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age 7 in January 2016, she quickly learned how isolating it can be to have a child with cancer.

She learned that there was no family support group or mentor family available at Levine Children’s Hospital or elsewhere in the Charlotte area. After connecting with a supportive online group called Momcology, Levine Children’s Hospital agreed to partner with Momcology to bring their peer-to-peer support group model here. Levine became just the second hospital in the country to offer it. Since the success of Levine Children’s Hospital Momcology, the program has spread to other children’s hospitals across the country.  

“Meeting other cancer moms in person and forming real connections and friendships was a wonderful experience and I wanted to bring that opportunity to other pediatric cancer caregivers in Charlotte,” said Rae. “My hope is that it will continue to catch on and eventually all pediatric hospitals will see the importance of offering a place where their patients’ families can meet, connect and support one another.”

In addition to the Levine Children’s Hospital group, Rae started a Facebook group called Charlotte Pediatric Cancer Support Group so that ALL primary caregivers with a child with cancer could connect with one another regardless of where their child was treated. This enabled families affected by pediatric cancer to share information, opportunities, fundraisers and ideas with one another.

Whether it’s the ISF 5K/10K race in September, the LLS Moms in Training program, Cookies for Kids Cancer bake sales, CureSearch’s Ultimate Hike or hosting blood drives, these cancer moms try to spread the word about the organizations they believe in and help them in whatever ways they can. Several of them recently attended the Levine Children’s Hospital gala on ISF’s behalf where they enjoyed a fun “Girls Night” and supported what Rae says is “the best children’s hospital that means so much to us and our families.”

Adds Rae, “I hope the biggest thing we’re doing collectively is raising awareness about the fact that pediatric cancer isn’t as ‘rare’ as people think and they will be moved to take action against it. We were once just like everyone else until one day we were thrown into this elite club we never wanted to join. None of us thought it would ever happen to our kid; we never imagined we would one day actually know some of the children and families in those St. Jude commercials.”

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Join these dedicated cancer moms and help support pediatric cancer research at any of these upcoming local fundraisers:

Jersey Mike’s Raises Over $167,000 for Isabella Santos Foundation

Record-breaking year for 9th Annual “Month of Giving” in greater Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – April 4, 2019 – Jersey Mike’s Subs served up record-breaking fundraising for its “Month of Giving” campaign in greater Charlotte. Jersey Mike’s Subs 9thAnnual March “Month of Giving” and “Day of Giving” campaigns raised more than $167,000 for the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF).

During the month of March, 39 Jersey Mike’s Subs restaurants throughout the greater Charlotte area collected over $13,750 in customer donations and cookie sales. The campaign culminated with Jersey Mike’s “Day of Giving” on March 27, when eight local Jersey Mike’s owners and operators donated 100 percent of the day’s sales – totaling over $153,500 – to the Isabella Santos Foundation. In addition, over 8,000 Giant 14” subs were served by more than 550 team members in the greater Charlotte area on “Day of Giving.”

“As a brand, Jersey Mike’s is very passionate about giving back. We don’t give to get, we give to give. With that being part of our culture and being a dad myself, it was a natural fit for the greater Charlotte franchisees to partner with the Isabella Santos Foundation,” said Nick Smith III, a local franchise owner of Jersey Mike’s Subs. “Erin [Santos] and her amazing team’s commitment to finding a cure for pediatric cancer is so contagious. We are honored to be part of that team and look forward to many years of partnering with them during the ‘Month of Giving’.”

Last year’s “Month of Giving” campaign raised more than $6 million for 170 local charities nationwide.  Since 2010, Jersey Mike’s locations throughout the country have raised more than $34 million for worthy local charities and distributed more than 2 million free sub sandwiches to help numerous causes. For more information, visit or

“We were blown away by all the support from the community. It really is incredible to see how this campaign can bring a community together for something bigger than us,” said Erin Santos, executive director and president of the Isabella Santos Foundation. “We are honored to be the charity partner for this campaign and greatly appreciate our partnership with Jersey Mike’s, the greater Charlotte franchise owners and amazing team of employees. The efforts and generosity of everyone involved will make a huge impact on our local pediatric cancer community.”

About Isabella Santos Foundation

The Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) is a 501(c)3 childhood cancer foundation dedicated to raising funds for research for rare pediatric cancers, and charities that directly impact the lives of children with cancer. ISF was founded in honor of Isabella Santos from Charlotte, N.C. who lost her battle against neuroblastoma. ISF is committed to improving rare pediatric cancer treatment options in an effort to increase the survival rate of kids with cancer so they can live their dreams. ISF has donated over $3 million to date to expand the scope of pediatric cancer research and treatment, and to fill various needs surrounding childhood cancers.

For more information, visit https://isabellasantosfounda][ or follow ISF on Facebook (, Instagram (, Twitter ( and LinkedIn (

#  #  #


Jenni Walker – Walker PR Group – 980-339-8041-office/704-649-6571-cell