It is impossible to promote pediatric cancer research and treatments solely based on regular funding. Atrium Health relies on community support and philanthropy to further our mission.  We are deeply humbled and honored for the support of the Isabella Santos Foundation and their commitment to patients in this region. This will allow our program to flourish and to be among the best in the nation.

Javier Oesterheld, MD

Pediatric Hematology & Oncology Medical Director, Levine Children’s

A little can change a lot, and all of your donations have gotten us to this point.  The Isabella Santos Foundation was created to primarily fund neuroblastoma research. At the very beginning, the hope was that time would slow down, science would speed up… and Isabella would be saved before cancer took her.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Neuroblastoma is a devastatingly awful disease.  But it’s also not the only disease. There are many rare pediatric cancers rearing their just-as-ugly heads, and we vow to take on those missions as well.

Isabella will always be at the forefront of everything we do because, in the end, she is why we are here.  Isabella left a legacy bigger than her, bigger than the disease.

We are excited for what the future will bring.  The momentum is stronger than ever, the focus is broadening, and the mission to help is growing.  It is up to us now to put the Charlotte community on the map for pediatric cancer research and treatments. It’s up to us to help fund the best possible outcomes for these kids and their families.

In 2019, ISF committed to raising $5 million to fund the ISF Rare and Solid Tumor Program at Levine Children’s Hospital. This breakthrough program is designed to research and treat ten deadly pediatric cancers and will allow Levine Children’s to expand their clinical trials and recruit a team of national experts in rare and solid tumors. The foundation has expanded its mission and scope to help kids with other rare cancers. In December 2018, ISF made the first $100,000 donation towards the new program.

MILESTONES THROUGH THE YEARS

  • Through community support ISF funded a $1 million leading-edge rare pediatric cancer treatment room at Levine Children’s Hospital, the Isabella Santos Foundation MIBG Suite. This treatment is known to be painless and extremely effective in the fight against neuroblastoma. Levine Children’s Hospital is one of only 20 children’s hospitals in the country to have this type of rare pediatric cancer therapy room. Construction began mid-2018 and was completed in eight months, with the first patient was successfully treated there in December.
  • ISF partnered with Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) to open CBCC’s first blood center in South Charlotte in 2017. Named in Isabella’s honor, the Isabella Santos Center is a state-of-the-art blood center located in Ballantyne and is one of their highest grossing centers.
  • ISF granted Nationwide Children’s Hospital $60,000 to support their Genomics Department for the Neuroblastoma Killer Cell Trial and neuroblastoma research.
  • ISF launched the cancer apparel brand, Cancer Messed With which allows people to show their support for a loved one, friend, teammate…anyone who is fighting cancer. T-shirts and other apparel items can now be seen sporting phrases like Cancer Messed With the Wrong Kid, The Wrong Father, The Wrong City, etc.  Cancer Messed With products are available for individual purchase and custom group/bulk orders.
  • ISF has donated over $145,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, allowing the organization to grant over 25 wishes in the state of North Carolina in Isabella’s name.
  • ISF granted Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center $202,000 to fund The SADA Drug Delivery Platform with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The SADA drug delivery platform was created to control drug delivery with such precision that toxicity only occurs where the drug is picked up by tumor cells, and not to normal bone marrow, the immune system, kidney or other vital organs.
  • ISF granted Children’s Oncology Group $100,000 to fund Frontline MIBG Therapy. This Phase 3 trial was specifically targeted to determine the effectiveness of pulling MIBG therapy, which is traditionally used as an end of life treatment, to the frontline of therapy for children with high-risk neuroblastoma. This trial was available nationwide.
  • ISF granted Children’s Oncology Group $50,000 to support the Circulating Tumor DNA project, a technology developed within test tubes that will allow cancer to be detected through a blood test. Circulating tumor DNA may provide a method for monitoring disease status during treatment and may be a means with which to detect changes in pediatric cancer mutation status without the need for invasive biopsies.
  • ISF granted Children’s Oncology Group $25,000 to support Project Every Child which is aimed to capture the biology and outcome of every child diagnosed with cancer in the United States. The ultimate goal is to collect biospecimens, including tumor tissue, host, and when feasible, parental DNA samples, which are stored at the COG’s state-of-the-art biorepository at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. These samples may then be utilized by any scientist in their studies to find new and improved cure for pediatric cancer.
  • ISF granted Beat Childhood Cancer (formally the Neuroblastoma and Medullobastoma Translational Research Consortium) $200,000 to support a pilot clinical trial for children with high-risk neuroblastoma. The trial introduced a new drug, DFMO, earlier in treatment combined with antibody therapy that is used to help prevent a relapse of Neuroblastoma. The trial will be available at participating hospitals, including Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte NC, the home of ISF.