Introducing the TORCH™ Initiative

Isabella Santos Foundation Ignites the TORCH Initiative to Drive Greater Reach in Fight Against Rare Pediatric Cancers

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Since 2007, the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) has been at the forefront of the battle against rare pediatric cancer. Today, ISF proudly announces the public launch of the TORCH Initiative, an effort aimed at accelerating basic science, clinical trials and survivorship programs for rare pediatric cancer heroes at children’s hospitals across North and South Carolina. 

The TORCH Initiative, which stands for Transformational Outcomes for Rare Cancer Heroes, will focus on improving both the quantity and quality of life for young rare cancer patients worldwide. With a $2 million annual funding goal, ISF will have the opportunity to engage with every pediatric hospital across the Carolinas. 

“While we will continue to support impactful programs in Charlotte, we believe our reach can be greater by serving thousands of children across the Carolinas battling rare cancers,” said Erin Santos-Primis, Executive Director and Founder of the Isabella Santos Foundation. “This growth marks a meaningful step towards transforming the landscape of pediatric cancer research and providing hope to countless young lives worldwide. We are excited to embark on this next chapter.” 

Initial recipients of the TORCH Initiative Request for Proposal (RFP) include Atrium Health, Duke Medical Center, ECU Medical Center, Mission Cancer Center, MUSC, Novant Health, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Prisma Health, and Wake Forest Medical Center. Leading doctors and researchers at these hospitals will be invited to submit proposals and, in some instances, participate in ISF-funded programs. 

The TORCH Initiative extends the legacy of ISF, leveraging its vast network and community engagement to advance the fight against rare pediatric cancers. It will complement and expand upon the work that has defined ISF over the last 17 years to ignite change in the trajectory for kids fighting rare pediatric cancer.

For more information about the TORCH Initiative and how to get involved, please visit

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