Dear JEM Project: Your Donation is Giving Children Fighting Cancer Time

It’s hard to put into words how grateful we are for the impact The JEM Project’s $250,000 donation to ISF is creating for kids fighting rare pediatric cancer and for our community.  Follow along this week as we share ‘Thank You’ letters from many of those who feel the incredible significance of their gift.

Isabella’s Grandmother shares what donations like this have given to her…

Dear JEM Project, 

Thank you. Those two words cannot begin to express how grateful I am for your generosity to ISF. I am Isabella’s grandma and I, along with Isabella and her family have faced pediatric cancer head on. Somewhere, deep inside, during her journey, I always knew losing her was a possibility. The cancer could win. We all knew it. It was this fear that grew like a fire inside all of us who knew her and formed ISF.  But the money and the research needed were not available at the time to save Isabella and on June 28, 2012 our hearts were forever broken. 

It is well known that donations are made to fund research. To search for a cure. To promote the cause. But let me share with you what donations like yours have given to me. They gave me time. Almost eight years have passed, and I am slowly able to look at the pictures and smile at the memories of Isabella and our time together. The clinical trials, those like you are helping fund, gave me time with her to bake cookies, take walks, laugh, and even argue. The research that people like you help fund gave me real life moments with Isabella like talking to her in the car on the way to school about getting married and boyfriends. The money that you gave to pay for the best oncologists to treat her gave me time to read to her and sing silly songs about broccoli. They gave me time to have her try on a flower girl dress for my wedding. These donations unfortunately, did not save her life but they gave us time. They gave us time to say I love you to her every day. They gave me time to support my daughter, Erin, as she navigated through the most incomprehensible decisions that any parent must make. They gave me time to lie in bed with them and understand the importance of that simple moment. As I write this, I understand that this is a selfish look at the significance of your donation, but I hope you understand that your donation today is giving children precious time. It is giving parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends time. It is giving doctors and nurses time. It is giving research hospitals time. The cure will come. It is on the horizon and it is exciting to hear of the new research and technologies available that were not available for Isabella. But this too will take time. 

I am so grateful for your extremely generous donation to the foundation. ISF is doing incredible things and making a difference in the lives of children and their families. They are refusing to let pediatric cancer hide in the shadows. They are shining a bright light on the future and I am so glad to welcome you into this light. They are not going to give up and it is because of your generous heart that they are able to continue their mission. I hope I can meet you someday to thank you in person. 

From the bottom of my heart……Thank you!

Connie Stewart, Isabella’s Grandma

Isabella Santos Foundation Receives $250,000 Gift by The JEM Foundation