Luminary Dedication Event to Honor Cancer Fighters 

Isabella Santos Foundation will host a special event in honor of their founder’s sixteenth birthday to benefit childhood cancer.

Charlotte, Feb 9, 2021 – Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) a Charlotte childhood cancer charity was created in honor of Isabella Santos who lost her fight to neuroblastoma, a rare pediatric cancer, at just seven years old.  On March 9th, Isabella would have turned 16-years-old. While she only lived seven years, Charlotte, the nation, and the world feel her astounding impact through the creation of the ISF Rare & Solid Tumor Program at Atrium Health Levine Children’s.  This program is quickly becoming a national and international destination for healthcare for children with solid tumors, brain cancer, and rare cancers.

ISF will host a special luminary dedication event, Star Light. Star Bright. in honor of what would have been Isabella’s sixteenth birthday.  The dedication will take place on the front lawn of Calvary Church, where Isabella attended preschool and is laid to rest in their Magnolia Gardens.  As the sun sets, ISF will light luminaries on the lawn in honor of Isabella, and childhood cancer fighters past and present.  Due to current restrictions, the event will be private, however, ISF invites the public to honor their loved ones affected by cancer with a luminary dedication.  Luminary dedications will be gathered through donations on the ISF luminary event page.

ISF has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for this event.  In honor of Isabella’s Sweet Sixteen when she would have gotten her license to drive, ISF reached out to the Charlotte automotive community to partner in the event.  Lake Norman Chrysler | Dodge | Jeep | Ram and Scott Clark Auto Group both stepped up as co-presenting sponsors.  Many others from the automotive community have come together to help benefit childhood cancer as well.

“Isabella’s birthday is always a tough day for me because I feel like it’s that one day that is just about her and I”, says Erin Santos, Executive Director of Isabella Santos Foundation.  “And even after all of these years, I find myself struggling to pull it together when the day arrives. Every year we host events around her birthday and honestly, at times it’s hard to pull myself together for this specific day. When I realized this year should have been her ‘Sweet Sixteen’ and in-person events would not be possible, I had a small sense of relief that I would be able to have some privacy to think about my daughter.  But, I still wanted us to create something meaningful in her honor. After some brainstorming, we landed on what we felt was a beautiful solution.  A luminary event in her honor, just footsteps away from where we go to remember her.”

Hosting events for nonprofits isn’t getting easier in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, but ISF is using this time to re-imagine fundraising events to impact their mission. Coming off of 2020 when ISF donated $1 Million to pediatric cancer, the ISF team is determined to continue the momentum in 2021. 

ISF is funding an innovative healthcare program at Levine Children’s focused on rare childhood cancers, The ISF Rare and Solid Tumor Program.  The program was established in July 2020 with the arrival of a world-renowned cancer researcher, Dr. Giselle Sholler.  Proceeds from the Star Light. Star Bright. Luminary Dedication event on March 9th will help fund a pediatric cancer clinical trial on relapsed neuroblastoma at Levine Children’s. 

About Isabella Santos Foundation

The Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) is a 501(c)3 childhood cancer foundation dedicated to raising funds for research for rare pediatric cancers, and charities that directly impact the lives of children with cancer. ISF was founded in honor of Isabella Santos from Charlotte, N.C. who lost her battle against neuroblastoma. ISF is committed to improving rare pediatric cancer treatment options in an effort to increase the survival rate of kids with cancer so they can live their dreams. ISF has donated close to $5 million to date to expand the scope of pediatric cancer research and treatment, and to fill various needs surrounding childhood cancers. For more information, visit or connect with ISF on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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