Contingency Plans?

ISF Newsletter, September 2021 (Don’t receive our newsletter in your inbox, sign up here). Thank you to our presenting sponsor, Hendrick Luxury Group, and all the event sponsors who are helping us make an impact and keep our community safe!

Contingency Plans? Yup, this is something that the life of a family dealing with cancer is full of. 

Quarterly scans set the stage for what your next 12 weeks looked like.  If scans were clean or showed improvement, we could continue down the path we had planned.  If they were not clean or showed no improvement, life as we knew it was put on hold, and school, vacations, and everything on your calendar was halted.  You just lived day to day.  

COVID has caused our life here at ISF to be full of contingency plans.  We spend months planning on things we want to do.. hoping we will all be back together safely, but then things happen out of our control (like cancer or a pandemic) and keep changing our plans.

Just a couple of months ago we felt like we finally had the green light to do “all the things” again.  Vaccines were available and months of quarantines and mask mandates made life as we once knew it possible again.  But now here we are… cases rising, mask mandates back into effect, and parents on the edge of their seats wondering if homeschooling is right around the corner again. But if we have learned anything through this crazy pandemic, it’s the need and flexibility for contingency plans and why they are important. 

Our mission at ISF has always been centered around these kids.  How can we help them?  How can we be their voice?  And most importantly – how can we keep them alive?  This is the root of ISF and we are having to make tough decisions.  Maybe tough is a strong word – it’s actually an easy decision, because we know it’s right.  Maybe sad or frustrated are the words instead.  

But here we are, less than a month from our signature race and we are both sad and frustrated that for the second year in a row, we are forced to move it to virtual.  Trust us, we miss the big crowds, the kids running around in the bounce houses, the NODA beer, the music, the sea of purple, the supportive local businesses and most importantly seeing all of the local families battling cancer come out, pushing their kids in strollers.  We miss the amazing support of all of you who come out on race day.  But once again we have to be smart, we have to wait and we are now having to make a tough decision. Contingency plans, right?

Fortunately and many thanks to you – last year was our best year at ISF.  You realized the safety of these kids was the most important thing to us all.  But just because you couldn’t be there in person – you still understood the importance of supporting them from a distance.  And because of this, we were able to raise over $220,000.  We were blown away by your generosity and we hope and pray that you will be a part of our event again – from the safety of your home and with those you love.  We still want you to walk, post pictures and be a part of this amazing event. You can safely be with the amount of people you feel comfortable with. We have several groups running together at the location best for them. 

Today marks the first day of Pediatric Cancer Awareness month and we will be featuring many of the kids we protect through these tough decisions. We hope you will read the stories throughout September and if you can, we would love for you to fundraise on behalf of one of these (or all of these kids) you will meet.  

These children and their families are already impacted by COVID in ways we will never truly understand.  Their life is constantly changing and new contingency plans are laid out for them every day.  So instead of waiting to help them when we can be together in person – let’s show them all that we can support them right now, from anywhere!  They don’t have the time to wait until next year when life gives us a full green light,  so we aren’t waiting either.  

How can you support them today? 

  • Register for virtual race and organize a walk in your neighborhood 
  • Fundraise for them this September to take action against pediatric cancer. 
  • Donate to the cause
  • Be an ambassador for them because they are counting on us.  

From all of us at ISF,

Stay safe.  Support from anywhere!  Do your part.  We will all be together again soon.  

A very heartfelt thank you to our presenting sponsor, Hendrick Luxury Group, and all the event sponsors who are helping us make an impact and keep our community safe!

So what does this all mean? It means we are making the decision to shift our Charlotte based, Ballantyne race to virtual. You can still sign up and run from wherever you are! In fact, we want you to. Join your neighbors, join your friends, join your family and get moving on Sept 25th. Restrictions are not quite how they were last year, so you have many more options.  

If you have already signed up to run from the start line in Ballantyne, no worries. You have some options. You can pick up your gear at a drive thru packet pick up at Calvary Church on Friday, September 24th between 4-6pm as planned. However, if you need us to ship your package instead, we will be reaching out soon to make those arrangements.  

We hope you understand the position we are in and why making this decision was a hard one, but also an important one to us. This event was one of Isabella’s favorite days and we know she would stand behind this choice to help keep her cancer buddies as safe as possible.

Voices of Childhood Cancer: A September Series to Help Inspire Change

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and we will give you a glimpse of what kids fighting cancer and their families truly go through.  We will share their stories, their heartbreaks, and their victories. We invite you to listen to their voices, every experience is different.

We hope you will feel compelled to help us turn Awareness into Action all September long.  These stories of hope and healing start with your compassion and generosity.  Your donation helps us reach farther and move faster to develop improved treatments and promising cures for kids fighting rare cancers.

Proceeds benefit the ISF Rare and Solid Tumor Program and Research at Levine Children’s.

Enhance your impact by GIVING MONTHLY.  Be part of something ongoing and make a difference… Every. Single. Month.  This helps sustain our efforts, long-term… just a little at a time without a financial burden on you.

What does ACTION look like?

  • Follow along this month as we introduce you to cancer patients and their fights through our Facebook & Instagram channels
  • Comment, be cheerleaders for these kids
  • Repost & Share
  • If you feel moved, donate
  • Start a Facebook fundraiser in honor of a child you know fighting

Little Heroes Blood Drive in Honor of Childhood Cancer Warriors

In the month of September, there are over 40 options to donate blood throughout the month as part of the Little Heroes Blood Drive in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!  What an easy (and convenient) way to make a difference!  Cancer Dad, Shawn Flynn, and OneBlood of the Carolinas have been working hard to get the month of September stacked with blood drive options all dedicated in honor or memory of a pediatric cancer warrior (our Little Heroes!) around the region.

As part of the Little Warrior Blood Drive, we are hosting the Isabella Santos Foundation drive in honor of Isabella at the Isabella Santos Blood Center (Ballantyne) AND the South Charlotte Blood Center (South Charlotte Blvd) Friday, September 24 – Monday, September 27.  Sign up to participate in ISF’s blood drive locations.

Can’t make the ISF Drives, there are over 40 to choose from! Be a lifesaver! Sign up to donate blood at one of the mobile blood drives near you. Your donation could help to save THREE PEOPLE!

  • FREE Limited Edition Little Heroes T-Shirt
  • FREE $20 eGift Card
  • Plus OneBlood is giving $10 donation to ISF for every successful donation

Click here to view list of drives and dates and sign up today!