ISF Newsletter, September 2022: Be Inspired
“I will say as a parent, while I wouldn’t wish this journey upon my worst enemy, I have learned very quickly about the need for increased funding for research for pediatric cancer. Specifically for those of us with kids who have very rare cancers. While Gracie’s specific type of cancer does not currently have any clinical trials, I pray that there continues to be a greater focus for these kids. I have been humbled daily by the outpouring of love and support for our family from our friends, family, community and even strangers. Although we are brand new in the fight, I am personally committed to do whatever I can to continue to bring awareness to pediatric cancer and pay it forward like so many have done for us. It is an incredibly hard and overwhelming journey to navigate and if we can make that easier for anyone else moving forward I definitely want to. Being where we are in our fight, and continuing to work full time, I also recognize that I might not be able to give as much time as I want to right now – but the ISF race is a great start for us to create awareness and start to help raise money while also taking care of my family the way I need to.”
-Jenny, Gracie’s Mom (Undifferentiated Sarcoma)
How Can You Help?
September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month and we need your help by taking ACTION to make an impact for kids like Gracie. Your support and fundraising actions benefit The ISF Rare & Solid Tumor Program at Levine Children’s, a global program for kids battling rare cancers. The very program that Gracie is being treated under. We invite you to “Change the World” by fundraising to honor and help kids like Gracie, who are fighting rare pediatric cancer.
How does it work?
If you haven’t registered for the race, be sure to do so. Whether joining in person, or from afar, you will automatically receive a fundraising link to share. Just like Isabella, you can help us Change the World. This campaign will run through October 15th and we can’t wait to celebrate with all of you at our 15th Annual 5K for Kids Cancer!
Be sure to follow our social channels throughout this time, as we will be sharing inspiring stories of changemakers that are helping us make a difference. We hope to spark your interest and join us in changing the world by creating a personal fundraising page and raising funds for pediatric cancer.
Learn more here.
Message From ISF Executive Director
The National Center on Charitable Statistics reveals that approximately 30% of non-profit organizations fail to exist after 10 years. I remember our 10-year race like it was yesterday. Our 10-year logo and our biggest race to date, at that time. We were so proud of what this event had become after so many years of hard work. People were fundraising on our behalf, signing up to run, sponsors were coming on board and we were raising more money than we ever had.
The needle continued to move and we were continuing to grow.
And then… it just stopped.
The shock of COVID and the question of if we would survive was a real and difficult question. Our supporters rallied around us and thanks to peer-to-peer fundraising and a virtual component – we survived the craziness of both 2020 and 2021. We woke up for two years, missing what defined us. That special time of year, the changing of the season, the chilly September morning – Even our ISF team walked separately on our own. I was honestly worried the magic of our race might be gone forever.
Fast forward to September of 2022 and the excitement is back. Pushing the race back to October felt odd to us, but with kids heading back to school and so many great things happening in our community, we welcomed this extra time to remind those of you that we are back in person, with the hope of creating the magic once again. Our entire organization is built on beating the odds as we continue to see the impact we are making on kids in our community and beyond, thanks to the support you have given us.
With our 15-year anniversary race coming upon us – we are counting on you to once again help us breathe life back into this event that has been gone for too long. We hope you have missed it like we have missed you.”
We hope you remember the races where you left and felt a sense of accomplishment and inspiration.
We hope you remember seeing the cancer families out there with kids in strollers who are beaming with excitement to be a part of the day.
We hope you may even remember the race that Isabella and Grant ran across the finish line for the first time. She wore green leggings with pink ducks on them and an ISF shirt that hung on her like a nightshirt – bald head with a scar across it. Grant ran alongside her in a spiderman shirt and a ball cap. It was a day to remember. That little girl had no idea at the time that she was going to change the world.
This year, to honor her, we are launching our “Change the World” campaign.
- We invite you to create a race team and bring your friends and neighbors out to enjoy the day!
- We ask for you to help us by posting your team on social media and send it out to your co-workers and book club.
- We want you to tell the story of a little girl in her duck pants, who did the impossible… and is still changing the world by helping kids like her beat the odds.
- Tell them about a grassroots foundation based here in Charlotte that is beating the odds too.
- Share our video.
We can’t do it without you. The day will be perfect. I just know it. I have no doubt this year will be our most special to date. We will surpass our goal and continue to be inspired by these kids. It will be like we never left each other and will be the start of many more years of being together again.
-Erin Santos, Isabella’s Mom & ISF Executive Director
ISF is teaming up with Ella B. Candles to help fight pediatric cancer. Together we have designed two custom candles that have touches uniquely matching ISF’s mission: “This Candle Cures Cancer” and “Change the World”. All with one purpose, to help raise funds for kids fighting cancer. Proceeds of each candle sale will go to ISF’s mission. Both candles are available through ISF’s website. The “Change the World” Candle will be available at participating local retailers. Learn More.
50+ blood drives to pick from during the month of September, including the ISF-hosted Drive September 23-26th (Ballantyne & South Blvd Locations). Donating blood is such an easy way to make a difference in honor of childhood cancer awareness month. And BONUS, with every confirmed blood donation at any Little Heroes Drive, $10 will be donated to ISF and pediatric cancer! Find a location & book your appointment here.
Add some gold to your jewelry collection this September in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! Kendra Scott at Birkdale has graciously partnered with us for a giveback event September 7th-11th. 20% of proceeds from ANY item purchased using the code “GIVEBACK-CURE” at the Kendra Scott Birkdale location, or online at checkout, will come back to benefit ISF. Get your shopping on!
Community partners like Erin McDermott mean the world to us! From now until the end of September Erin McDermott jewelry is hosting 2 give back programs to benefit pediatric cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Use the code “ISF” online to receive free shipping on your purchase. 40% of these sales come back to benefit ISF. You can also purchase the specially crafted ISF purple bracelet with 100% of the proceeds benefiting our mission. Get your shopping on! Get your shopping on!
Let’s get dressed up and celebrate our anniversary! Our annual gala is back on Saturday, November 12th at The Ballantyne Hotel. Sponsorships and tables will go fast, learn more and contact us to join us for an impactful night!