“The Isabella Santos Foundation is a wonderful beneficiary partner and we are thrilled to be able to support their mission and make an impact on our local cancer community,” said Steve Amedio, co-founder of All-In to Fight Cancer.
The donation to Isabella Santos Foundation will support research for neuroblastoma and other rare pediatric cancers, including two endeavors at Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital: the MIBG Suite, a specialized therapy program which is under construction, and the Isabella Santos Foundation Rare and Solid Tumor Programannounced earlier this year.
“We greatly appreciate the generous donation from All-In to Fight Cancer and being among its cancer charity partners,” said Erin Santos, Executive Director and President of the Isabella Santos Foundation. “The All-In Texas Hold’em fundraiser is a terrific event that brings the community together to make incredible things happen for cancer patients in our Queen City.”
About All-In To Fight Cancer
Founded in 2010, All-In to Fight Cancer is a grassroots, nonprofit group dedicated to increasing public awareness and raising money to find a cure for cancer, by hosting Texas Hold’em tournaments. To date, they have raised over $1,000,000 to support the fight against cancer. Each year, they choose benefitting organizations that are doing incredible things in the local cancer community. They are a grassroots organization that is committed to keeping their funding local and as high-impact as possible – every penny of our proceeds goes straight to our partners. For more information, visit http://www.allintofightcancer.org/.
About Isabella Santos Foundation
The Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) is a 501(c)3 childhood cancer foundation dedicated to raising funds for research for neuroblastoma, other 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 works to improve rare pediatric cancer treatment options in an effort to improve the survival rate of kids with cancer. For more information, visit www.isabellasantosfoundation.org or follow ISF on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IsabellaSantosFoundation), Instagram (www.instagram.com/theisfoundation) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TheISFoundation).
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Jenni Walker – Walker PR Group – 980-339-8041-office/704-649-6571-cell
Every year our Auction Committee works tooth on one of our most coveted race day activities, the ISF Auction & Raffle. We pride ourselves in creating one of the best ISF Auction & Raffles in the city. But we can’t do it without our generous supporters and businesses. Are you willing to help us create a must-have package?
Isabella and her American Girl Doll
Isabella didn’t go many places without her American Girl dolls… even at the hospital receiving blood products as pictured here! Isabella spent hours dressing her dolls and picking out their outfits. They were her comfort items during childhood cancer treatments.
For today’s Wish Wednesday ask we are requesting all things American Girl for our upcoming auction at our 11th Annual 5k/10k For Kids Cancer event. Anything American Girl is appreciated: gift cards, dolls, outfits and accessories. These dolls brought so much joy to Isabella, help us bring joy to another little girl in her honor!
We don’t just need help securing items… but packaging them as well. We receive such fun items from our generous community businesses and beyond: Date night packages with hotel/dinner/limo, jewelry, kids activities, sports tickets and memorabilia, spa packages, vacations and more. We would love for you to join our Auction Committee and help us make this year’s silent auction a success. Our two auction needs are:
Auction Procurement: our community (and far beyond) have been so generous in donating items for our silent auction. We need your help in requesting donations from local businesses and securing the items.
Auction Packaging: Don’t feel comfortable asking for donations? We still need your help… just as much work goes into the packaging .
We hope you will join us and volunteer this summer to help make our silent auctions the best in town. Interested in learning more, please email Melanie, our Auction Committee Lead: firstname.lastname@example.org
I get it. It’s not a fun thing to do. You may drive all the way to the center and get turned away. It’s cold in there. It may take them a couple of tries to find a good vein. You are worried you might pass out. It might be uncomfortable for a while. It’s boring. It may take a little longer than you want it to. I know all these things that go through your head, because they go through mine too.
You would think after our family’s experience, I would be giving blood every chance I could. But, like you all – I get busy or some of these excuses start ringing in my head. I have to be honest though, I do try as much as I can to give blood if I have the chance at a blood drive. Giving blood doesn’t take long at all and other than having to control my alcohol or exercise that day – it doesn’t impact my life too much. It’s like voting for me. I feel good doing it and feel proud walking around with my elbow wrapped up in horrible blue tape for a couple of hours. It’s like a battle scar that somehow says, “I care”.
Platelets. For some reason this process is a whole new ball game. I don’t give them as much as I should. I’m just lazy about it really. I’m very particular about my platelet giving. It is a must to have someone with me to entertain me for 90 minutes. I can’t focus on Isabella too much in those chairs or the experience may become to painful.
I have had some very memorable platelet donations. The first anniversary of her death, I decided to schedule a platelet donation during the hours she died of June 28th. I figured that if I was going to do this in her honor, let’s really do it. The center was full that day as we were really pushing for 100 platelet donors that week, which is harder than landing on the moon apparently. I sat in my chair and watched seas of purple come in and out. Everyone knew that I was struggling because I sat there trying to have conversation, but knowing that tears that were falling slowly from my eyes as I talked.
I could see the hour of her death approaching and I just wanted to die. My brother came in during that time and sat with me. I think he gave blood instead of platelets that morning but all I really remember was him being with me. He was there with me on the day we found out she had cancer, up until the day she died in our house. He is a quiet brother at times but his presence is heavy. We don’t often talk during these times about what is really going on in our head – it’s like an unspoken thing. He knew how hard it was for me as I sat there and sobbed. He just sat there – understanding how the things we hate to do, still need to be done. This is not where I wanted to be on this morning and he knew it. He knew I wanted to be in my bed, sobbing and not sitting here in this gray chair. But once again, I was doing something, not for myself, but for her. It was the longest donation of my life – but the most meaningful.
We left that morning together and drove to pick out an engagement ring for his girlfriend, Laura. He let me be a part of a huge day in his life, maybe because I let him be a part of mine. We went to lunch and had a drink and laughed. By then my tears were dried up and I had focused on the excitement of his day. He was starting a new chapter and I got to be there for it. It was a good day in the end.
Each year as this date approaches, I feel myself wanting to retreat. I have gotten a little smarter and try to no longer go during that hour of her passing. It’s just not a smart thing for me to do anymore. But I still go. I go because I know how important blood and platelets were to her survival. I go because I remember her bruising from the slightest touch and how platelets repaired her body so easily. I go because I remember her not being able to walk into the hospital, only to find out that she was in such desperate need of a blood transfusion that I would have to carry her tired body everywhere. She would run out of the clinic after her transfusion, as if the events of the earlier day never occurred.
I go because every time I’m there and I check in, the staff knows me and knows her. Someone there always says a kind word to me about her legacy and I know there is no where else I should be.
I go because it’s the right thing to do. I go for her.
LAKE NORMAN FOREST RUN | HALF MARATHON & 5K | JULY 28, 2018 | 7:00AM- 11:00AM
Excited to add this to our partner event list! Announcing the Lake Norman Forest Run on July 28th benefiting the Isabella Santos Foundation, race 1 of the Lake Norman Half Marathon series by Epic Sports Marketing. Mostly in the shade on the well paved roads of Lake Norman State Park, this run has a half marathon and a 5K option.