Big Accomplishments for this Little Cancer Warrior

Over the past year, Madison was in the deep throes of battling osteosarcoma, a rare pediatric bone cancer.  In that same year, Madison, now age 6, learned to walk again, completed kindergarten, stole the heart of Duff Goldman from Kids Baking Championship and most importantly, beat cancer. 

That’s a big list of accomplishments for one little girl.

In 2018, over the course of 3 short days, Madison’s life swiftly changed. It all started with pain in her right leg and completely lost the ability to walk a few days later.  After immediately heading in for X-rays after what thought was a possible broken bone, a soft spot was found on her right femur. Immediately taken to Levine Children’s Hospital, Madison was later diagnosed with osteosarcoma in April of 2018 at five years old.  This type of cancer is extremely rare and almost unheard of in kids her age The solid tumor discovered took up to about three-fourths of Madison’s adolescent bone.

After several rounds of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor on her femur, she had surgery to remove her right femur and replace it with one from a cadaver. Fortunately, the medical team was able to remove most of the tumor and save both of Madison’s growth plates.

In February 2019, she finished treatment at Levine Children’s and has since had very positive scans showing no cancer! At about the same time of finishing treatment, Madison learned her Wish trip would be granted by Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina Chapter.

Madison and her family just got back from her Make-A-Wish trip to Los Angeles.  She didn’t ask to meet Taylor Swift or go to Disney World. She wished to meet Duff Goldman, a silly and bald baker. And what happened? They became best friends of course! 

“Duff Goldman by far is the most genuine person alive. Duff and Madison hit it off immediately and she didn’t ever want to leave. One of the sweetest moments was when they got in a mini food fight. Duff covered her chef jacket with chocolate and jam, said you can’t trust a chef with a clean jacket. Madison never wants to wash it!” 

Madison and her family enjoyed baking time with Duff, exploring Universal Studios, riding in limos and exploring some of California’s yummy eats. “To think where we were a year ago. The whole trip was surreal. We made some pretty awesome memories that we will never forget, none of us will ever be the same.”

And that’s what Make-A-Wish does, they create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. The positive impact wishes give to kids and their families are invaluable.

For the second year, the Isabella Santos Foundation ran an online March fundraiser in honor of what would have been Isabella’s birthday month, that fundraiser directly impacted Madison’s wish trip.  Make-A-Wish granted Isabella her wish and gave her the best days of her life as well as giving her family the best memories of theirs. Honoring Isabella’s birthday by providing the same for another cancer fighter is exactly what she would love!  

Thank you for supporting the Isabella Santos Foundation, we can’t express enough how much your support inspires us to do more for these cancer warriors and their families. You helped make a little girl’s dream come true and it will be something that will stay with her forever. 

Photos of Madison’s Wish Trip:

Surprise, it’s Christmas in July!

Ho ho ho! Surprise… it’s Christmas in July! Our ISF elves have been busy picking out the best toys for some extra special boys and girls. Today was the big day! Santa ditched his summer surfboard and broke out his sleigh to travel all the way to Levine Children’s Hospital with a special stop at the oncology floor and clinic. Thank you to all of Santa’s ISF elves and supporters who make magical days like today possible.

Huge thanks to Toys and Co. for helping our elves with the toys!

Kids Helping Kids: Meet Addison

Addison has already committed her 13th birthday to the Isabella Santos Foundation to help kids fighting cancer. She plans to host a pool party and ask for donations instead of presents. Addison gathered her friends last summer for a lemonade stand and raised over $100 in her neighborhood. She has now recruited some of those same friends to run with her on Isabella’s Run Team.

Last year, Addison was the youngest member of Isabella’s Run Team. She showed up every Saturday morning wearing purple and ready to get in her miles. She is a quiet runner, but she is motivated and raised over $1,000 to help kids fighting cancer. What an honor it is to have Addison as part of the ISF family!

Hi, I’m Addison and I’m 12 years old. This is my second year on the Isabella Santos Run Team. I love this team because you can interact while running around cool places!! One time we ran near a Starbucks and after the run I got to pick out my favorite drink, we also ran near Amelie’s and got macaroons after!!

When my mom asked if i wanted to join the team again this year I was honored.

This team has made me so grateful for everything I have and makes me happy to do it. A few years ago a good friend of ours, Noah Hays, was diagnosed with cancer, and sadly he passed away last June.  My friends and I raised money by setting up a lemonade stand with friends and gave it to Noah’s family!! I’m so glad I got to give Noah something memorable before it was his time.

Running for this cause is what makes me want to help raise money so that it can go towards finding a cure and to help other kids with cancer.  I realize that running and fundraising is a simple way to help real life problems. I’m honored to be a part of this team and happy some more friends my age are joining. If you have an interest in running (even if you aren’t normally a runner, this team helps you get better) I recommend you try this team. Last year I could barely run a 5k and I have run two 10ks now!! This club has inspired me so much.  This year I plan to host neighborhood lemonade stands and bake sales and also do a fundraiser cookout at my house for my 13th birthday in July. Last year I raised over $1000 for this team and I would love to beat that total this year!

Addison, Member of Isabella’s Run Team

How can you not feel inspired by Addison, we certainly do! Nothing better than kids helping kids and Addison provides a great example of another way to get involved with our community. With Addison’s birthday coming up at the end of July, we hope you feel moved to help cheer her on by making a single donation to her ISF Run Team fundraising page. Every single dollar counts in helping bring change to rare pediatric cancer in Charlotte and beyond.

Want to join Isabella’s Run Team? It’s not too late! Sign up or contact us with questions!

Why Platelet Donations are Critical

“I donated platelets this morning in honor of Isabella’s life. As I sat in the chair, I mentally thanked the people who had donated when Andrew needed platelets.” -Kelly, Cancer Mom

For the seventh anniversary of Isabella’s passing, we honored her life by hosting our annual week-long platelet drive with OneBlood. We are humbled by the numbers that came in for the week, we cannot thank our donors and supporters enough for their gracious contribution…

  • 117 Scheduled Platelet Appointments
  • 103 Scheduled Whole Blood Appointments
  • 86 Platelet Donations Made
  • 183 Whole Blood Donations Made

Did you know…

  • Platelets are the tiny cells in your blood that help form clots and stop bleeding.
  • Cancer patients are the #1 recipients of platelets due to the harsh effects of chemotherapy treatment.
  • Platelet donations are used within 48-72 hours, so the need for this type of donation is critical.

“We are truly honored by the remarkable turnout for our 2019 platelet drive in honor of Isabella Santos. The dedication shown by the 86 people who stepped up to give this precious gift is outstanding. The time they spent in our donor chairs will help save the lives of patients in our community. We cannot thank the Isabella Santos Foundation, their followers, and our donors enough for their support at this drive and over the years. Through this partnership, OneBlood and ISF have worked to create a happier, healthier community, impacting the lives of countless patients and their families. We look forward to making an even bigger impact together in the years to come.”

Jessica Jankowski, Marketing Administrator for OneBlood 

But don’t stop there… summer is especially hard on blood supply products everywhere and we still need your support!

ISF is helping OneBlood and Atrium Health, Levine Children’s and The Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte put out an S.O.S. to all local blood donors to Save Our Summer!

Collections have been down all summer, and local patients – including cancer patients who are the No. 1 recipients of blood – are counting on you to ensure a steady blood supply is available for those in need. The life-saving blood products they require can only come from volunteer donors like you.

The 2nd annual Save Our Summer Blood Drives: 

  • Wednesday, July 17, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., in the ICU Walkway in Atrium Health Main
  • Friday, July 19, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., in the main floor conference room of Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital (1000 Blythe Blvd. in Charlotte).

Schedule appointment by calling 1.888.9DONATE (1.888.936.6283) or online here.

All presenting blood donors will receive a special limited-edition OneBlood Cooler and $10 eGift card voucher as a thank you. 

Make an appointment by July 16th to be entered to win raffle prizes such as a Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation Foursome, Doc Porters Tour Voucher for four and a bottle of whiskey, Viva Chicken gift cards, and many more prizes! 


Red Ventures Named Title Sponsor of Isabella Santos Foundation 5K 10K for Kids Cancer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – July 1, 2019 – The Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) announced today that Red Ventures will the presenting sponsor of its 12th Annual 5K/10K for Kids Cancer taking place on Saturday, Sept. 28.

“I am excited for two organizations I support to partner for the Isabella Santos 5K/10K,” said Jacob Virgil, senior associate at Red Ventures. “Red Ventures’ support of the Isabella Santos Foundation speaks to what I love about the Red Ventures culture—supporting employees’ efforts to leave the wood pile higher than we found it.”

The race and post-race celebration will take place from 7:30-10:30 a.m. at Ballantyne Corporate Park located at 15801 Brixham Hill Avenue in Charlotte. The family-friendly event provides fun for the entire family including: brunch; silent auction and raffle; and Kids Zone with games, face painting, slides, jump house and photo booth.

“As we celebrate the 12th year of our 5K/10K for Kids Cancer, we are thrilled to have Red Ventures as the presenting sponsor of our flagship event,” said Erin Santos, executive director and president of the Isabella Santos Foundation. “They are an amazing community partner and we look forward to teaming up on this amazing partnership that will greatly benefit our local pediatric cancer community.”

Registration fees vary and participants may register individually or as a team. For more information or to register and brunch with ISF, visit

About Red Ventures

Founded in 2000, Red Ventures is a portfolio of growing digital businesses that bring consumers and brands together through integrated e-commerce, strategic partnerships and many proprietary brands including Bankrate, and Headquartered south of Charlotte, NC, Red Ventures has over 3,000 employees in offices across the US, as well as London and Sao Paulo. For more information, visit

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 or follow ISF on Facebook (, Instagram (, Twitter ( and LinkedIn (

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