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Thank You!!!!

Sophia at race startThe #ISFTagTeam


…. and the Results are IN!

To Our Incredible Supporters,

Words cannot express how grateful we are for you.
Grateful. Humbled. 

Appreciative and amazed….by each and every single one of you.
What a TEAM we have in you!

Thank you doesn’t seem to be enough when we look at what we have all managed to accomplish over the past 8 years. It is because of your continued dedication to helping us see through the vision to honor Isabella’s dreams during her short, but very inspiring life. Cancer may have taken her from this world- but it didn’t win. As we have said- Cancer messed with the wrong kid because we are not giving up. We are only getting better!

Thanks to YOUR support and unyielding dedication over the last 2 months – 

the ACTION TAKEN through various fundraising events, including the 5K for Kids Cancer, the Brew Bash, the ongoing efforts of the Dream Team training for their 1/2 marathon, as well as several other events has grossed over…


It is simply AMAZING and it is because of YOU.

You joined our team, alongside of so many others and …. TOOK ACTION!

In the first year- ISF raised $7000 and had 180 people registered to run. This year, the race alone raised over $300,000 and had over 2000 registered to run. Look where we have come…and we have done it, TOGETHER!
We are amazed and would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU!
Thank you for fighting this fight with our team.
It is incredibly important to us to keep Isabella’s dreams alive and do what we can to fulfill her wishes of a world with no more cancer.

It is hard to articulate just how much we appreciate the community support we receive and you continue to amaze us each and every year!!
We are so grateful for our sponsors, our donors, our local celebrities, our local schools, our local sports teams, our 5K runners, our 10k runners, our fun runners, our phantom runners, our fundraisers, our vendors, our volunteers, our local businesses that give to our auction, host IB days and for each and every person (near and far) that simply listens and shares Isabella’s story.
It ALL works together in a beautiful way to truly make a difference and impact others.

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep going when we know our efforts will not bring Isabella back- but in that same breath- we know that is the exact reason why we HAVE to keep going. Isabella would want for us to help the other children fighting today. Her life WILL change the life of others.

We hope that you all feel as appreciated as you are and that you feel the passion that each of us puts into everything we do for Isabella, for her foundation and for all children fighting pediatric cancer right now! Our hope is that we help make a shift in the future of this disease and will help fund research for a CURE! We look forward to communicating soon, where and when these funds will be distributed! 

We cannot thank you enough for all
that you do to keep Isabella’s spirit alive and well!

With utmost sincerity and very full hearts,

Thank you.

Erin and Stuart Santos, along with the ENTIRE ISF TEAM

Fight Cancer. Run with us.


By Tom Patania

On March 9th, we unveiled the details for Isabella’s Dream Team – 2015. This date was picked specifically because it would have been Isabella’s 10th birthday. Not only is she the Founder of ISF, she is the inspiration behind this team. Our focus is about Isabella, and following her dream of creating a world with “no more cancer.” We continue the fight for her and the many children that are also battling cancer.

Last year, in our inaugural year, the team was filled with passionate and selfless individuals that came together to surpass our wildest expectations. The 2014 team raised $34,000. This program continues to be a volunteer based, grassroots effort without the high overhead of a large charity.  We ask each participant to fundraise a minimum of $500 (but our hope is that each will shoot for much more than that).  What we lack in advertising dollars we make up for with heart and community.

 “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” – Shakespeare

IB in race tIn an effort to grow our team and our impact, we are recruiting runners and run/walkers that want to join our mission of helping make a little girl’s dream come true.

This year each athlete has a choice. We will be training for two races:  Rock N Roll Savannah (Nov 7th) or Thunder Road (Nov 14) half or full marathons.  With this being a volunteer effort, we ask that each participant sign up for their race of choice. Our hope is that the athletes that choose to run RnR Savannah will take part in supporting and cheering for those that are running Thunder Road, and to support our Charlotte community. The ISF10K/5K for Kids Cancer (Sept 26th) will be a part of our training program, so each team member will want to sign up for that race as well.

Official team training will start the week of July 13th and training schedules will be available for both distances. Included in the training schedule will be speed & hill workouts (Blakeney area) and Saturday long runs (various locations – early morning). I highly encourage all of you to attend as many team runs as possible.


dream teamHow to join the team?

  • Email Coach Tom at tom@isabellasantosfoundation.com with which race and distance you’re interested in and your t-shirt size.
  • Create your First Giving fundraising page by selecting: Isabella’s Dream Team 2015
    • Be sure to make this page personal. We do not ask you to cover the difference if you cannot hit $500.  We only ask for your best effort.
  • Register for your race and distance: RnR Savannah or Thunder Road
  • Get Social: tag five friends to let your network know you’ll be running with us this summer.


First Annual Sip and Shop for ISF – Huge Success!

ISF Logo Dressy


Thank you so much to the many wonderful shoppers that stopped by the Sip and Shop for ISF Sunday afternoon. If you weren’t able to stop by or didn’t get a chance to see all of the vendors at the event, there is still time! Below are the links to several vendors who still have their parties open online for continued shopping! These purchases benefit ISF. So if you have a Mother’s day gift to purchase, or a birthday gift, or just something for yourself, now is the time to buy. Don’t waste time, most will close by midnight this Wednesday April 30th. Stella and Dot and Keep Collective will be open through next week!

Pampered Chef:

Thirty One

Stella & Dot


Keep Collective
Find Your Hostess: Isabella Santos Foundation

party host is Sip Shop

Beauty Society
enter party ID 9490 at checkout

In a Pikle


A huge thank you to all of our vendors for their participation, support, and generosity! Please shop these incredible businesses!


Rodan and Fields

Stella and Dot

DeWalt Designs

Thirty-One Gifts


Beauty Society

In a Pikle

Tastefully Simple

Pure Stella Skin Care


Mary Kay


The Boulevard at South End

Pampered Chef

Poppy Whitaker

Ana and Anderson Non Toxic

Ginger & Juniper

Bella Tunno

Nothing Bundt Cakes

Keep Collective

Art Loom

BoerBarn Homemade

Celebrating Home

Children’s Author – Jillian Nowlan


Matilda Jane Clothing

India Hicks


Paint the town PURPLE on September 21st!

The countdown is ON for the ISF 5k (T-minus 38 days, but who’s counting? US!).


ISF Purple + IB = LOVE

So, many of you know that the ISF’s signature color is purple. It’s a shade of purple that’s vivid and bold– just like IB. But what a lot of you don’t know is that Isabella picked it.  She picked purple to be her foundation’s color, and now we like to think of ourselves as IB’s Purple Warriors.

That’s what we think of you, too. Our supporters are the ones fighting with us – our warriors. So for this year’s 5k, we want to paint the town PURPLE.


Yep. Buy this wig.

We want to see your craziest, zaniest, most purpilicious gear on race day. Wear everything purple.  Purple knee high socks, purple tutus, purple Afros, purple painted faces. If you can dream it up, we want to see it.  We want to be jogging along, look up, and see a sea of purple.

And, just to set things straight: girls AND boys can pull off purple. In fact, just the other day, we spotted a pair of Nike Elites in purple. Aren’t those the hottest socks for boys ages 5 and up? Yes, they are. And wait, didn’t Charlotte just get back the Hornets’ name? And aren’t the Hornets PURPLE and teal?? Yep. We think IB was pretty fashion-forward.

Men look HOT in purple!

Wear purple on September 21. Show the world that YOU support finding a cure for pediatric cancer and that you are one of IB’s Purple Warriors. Register now (www.5kforkidscancer.com). Be sure to like our 5k for Kids Cancer Facebook page where we will be posting pictures of purple styles that would rock this event.  Everything from shoes to nail polish to face paint!  Or even send us a picture of you in your outfit and we’ll post it for everyone to see!  We can’t wait to see your cute purple selves on race day!

August Firstgiving Promotion!

Ready. Set. Go!

Ready. Set. Go!

August can feel like December with the ramp up of Back to School – the calendar books up in the blink of an eye and summer seems like a distant memory before it even ends.  Plus, we’ve been busier than ever getting ready for our September 21st 5k (Go to www.5kforkidscancer.com to register!) We can’t wait!!! Those are our excuses for posting our August FirstGiving Promotions almost halfway through August! J

We’ve mentioned in previous posts just how important FirstGiving is to ISF. Last year we raised over $100,000 through pages YOU created. We’re officially halfway through 2013, and we’ve already raised $33,000 through FirstGiving – our goal is $100,000 (33% to goal!). We know we WILL get there thanks to the constant support from old AND new friends.  August and September are always our highest giving months so we are excited to see where we will end up!

To thank you for all of your efforts this month, we’ve set up some pretty fabulous prizes – we like to call it the ISF 5K Swag Bag (drumroll, please…):

If you raise at least $1000 on your Firstgiving page by August 31st, 2013, you will be entered to win:

  • A $100 Dicks gift card (did we mention it’s Back to School AND ISF 5k time?? How many tennis shoes are YOU buying this month!!);  Thank you to Dicks Sporting Good for donating this to us!
  • Two entries to the ISF 5k for Kids Cancer; and,
  • Five raffle tickets to use at the race.  You will NOT BELIEVE the items that are coming in for the raffle and silent auction so these could be your winning tickets!

Even if your name isn’t pulled from the hat, just by raising $1000 you will have access to our Firstgiving VIP tent that will be at the race.  This includes a delicious hot breakfast, piping hot coffee, time to socialize with new and old friend, AND bragging rights for the entire day.

For every $1000 you raise, your name goes in the bucket for these prizes again and again. That’s your incentive to go beyond your monthly goals – how many times will your name be entered??

Remember that raising money has never been easier. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest – whatever social media site you adore this month to get the word out. Tell all of your friends just how easy it is to set up a Firstgiving page for ISF. Let’s do this together – spread awareness and beat this Big Bad Thing for good.

Thank you from everyone here at ISF and as always, Happy Fundraising!!

Paying it Forward… for Isabella

June 28, 2013 marked the one year anniversary date of Isabella’s passing. All of us at ISF knew that this was going to be a very difficult day and felt a little anxious as it quickly approached. Three-hundred-sixty-five days had gone by since she took her last breath and every “first” milestone had already been met with great anxiety. That is… all, except one. This milestone was certain to be the hardest of them all, so the question remained — how can we get through the day and make it a celebration of Isabella’s life, rather than focus on reliving that awful day.

Isabella was unique. She had a “special” soul and a “special” spirit.  She had a heart of gold, could make a friend out of any stranger, and honestly, inspired kids and adults alike, with a captivating power that most people never have in their entire lifetime. She affected thousands in just seven years. So the question remained… how do we pass through this day and honor this incredibly courageous girl in a way that she truly deserved?

With much thought, an idea was born. Isabella made so many people smile throughout her short life, so what better way of honoring her memory,  than by having people around the world do the same. We put out a call to our supporters and asked that they do something on Friday, June 28 to “Pay it Forward” for Isabella.

Pay it forward FB pic

It was incredible. Through Facebook alone we reached over 16,000 people and had 151 people share the idea on their own pages, reaching countless more. The good deeds were coming in faster than we could keep up with, and knowing that each time we read one, it was being done with Isabella in mind and on her behalf, the day that we dreaded so much was turning out to be an incredibly inspirational day.

We heard stories of people purchasing food for others; numerous charity donations made in Ib’s name; countless blood donations; random acts done for homeless people; candles lit across the world in her memory; children purchasing toys for other children; much-needed items taken to local Ronald McDonald Houses; snacks bought and distributed “from Isabella” at Disney World; and the list went on and on and on. It was simply amazing. People are good in this world, and although we do not understand why Isabella had to go through the horrible experiences that she did, in those moments and on that heartbreaking day, her life not only made sense, but the affect it had on others was proving to be incredible. It was an inspirational ripple effect, stemming from the heart of a 7-year-old girl. Wow. And the stories we heard were a drop in the bucket to the random acts of kindness that were actually occurring.

In addition to “Paying it Forward,” we also thought doing a PURPLE balloon release in her memory would allow people to commemorate the day in a healing way. There is something peaceful about letting go of a balloon and watching as it floats to the heavens – toward a child. We felt confident that people local to Charlotte would participate in this event, but the response we received was overwhelming. While trying to keep up with the good deeds coming through email and social media, we were also getting pounded with photographs of these beautiful purple balloons being released ALL over the country.


The pictures coming in had landscapes of all kinds — mountains, beaches, pools and lakes.

Isabella Dr

In addition, photographs were taken in front of businesses, neighborhoods, blood centers, and schools.


And the most powerful… Isabella’s memorial. See the rest of the balloon release photos from the day.

ISF Balloon Release GROUP

In the weeks leading up to this anniversary, ISF launched our #ISF3Wishes campaign and it was at its peak momentum (to date). We were gaining new supporters at a fast pace and our exposure on social media was reaching an all-time high. Our goal was to get to 5,000 likes by our 5K Kids for Cancer Race on September 21 and suddenly we had this crazy idea that with everything we had going on, why not try to get there by an even more important date — June 28? We had passed so many other goals we never thought we would — so why not this?  It would be an incredible way to celebrate Isabella and the Foundation that continues to thrive in her honor, in her memory and on her behalf. So many people at ISF work tirelessly to continue this fight for other children dealing with pediatric cancer and we understand that a vital part of that is awareness. Social media can work like a wildfire, so we wanted to utilize this incredible tool we have at our fingertips. We rallied and had our incredible support system also rally. It felt like the ball dropping on New Year’s Eve as we watched our “likes” jump exponentially, moment by moment on the eve of her anniversary. The only word that can describe it is, exhilarating.

So… for a day that snuck up on us like a bad dream… it evolved into an incredibly beautiful, exciting, bittersweet and inspirational day. A 7-year-old girl truly had a ripple effect on the country and that alone could bring a smile to anyone’s face.  Most people don’t have that affect in their lifetime and seeing hers was mind blowing. No one knows how long their journey will be on this earth; we are guaranteed no amount of time. We can learn from her. We can only strive to be the type of person she was in her short walk. Every day Isabella is painfully missed, but to witness the impact she continues to have on people is humbling and can only make one want to be a better person. Regardless what day it is or what anniversary it is, or isn’t… please pay it forward. Always.