Why Platelet Donations are Critical

“I donated platelets this morning in honor of Isabella’s life. As I sat in the chair, I mentally thanked the people who had donated when Andrew needed platelets.” -Kelly, Cancer Mom

For the seventh anniversary of Isabella’s passing, we honored her life by hosting our annual week-long platelet drive with OneBlood. We are humbled by the numbers that came in for the week, we cannot thank our donors and supporters enough for their gracious contribution…

  • 117 Scheduled Platelet Appointments
  • 103 Scheduled Whole Blood Appointments
  • 86 Platelet Donations Made
  • 183 Whole Blood Donations Made

Did you know…

  • Platelets are the tiny cells in your blood that help form clots and stop bleeding.
  • Cancer patients are the #1 recipients of platelets due to the harsh effects of chemotherapy treatment.
  • Platelet donations are used within 48-72 hours, so the need for this type of donation is critical.

“We are truly honored by the remarkable turnout for our 2019 platelet drive in honor of Isabella Santos. The dedication shown by the 86 people who stepped up to give this precious gift is outstanding. The time they spent in our donor chairs will help save the lives of patients in our community. We cannot thank the Isabella Santos Foundation, their followers, and our donors enough for their support at this drive and over the years. Through this partnership, OneBlood and ISF have worked to create a happier, healthier community, impacting the lives of countless patients and their families. We look forward to making an even bigger impact together in the years to come.”

Jessica Jankowski, Marketing Administrator for OneBlood 

But don’t stop there… summer is especially hard on blood supply products everywhere and we still need your support!

ISF is helping OneBlood and Atrium Health, Levine Children’s and The Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte put out an S.O.S. to all local blood donors to Save Our Summer!

Collections have been down all summer, and local patients – including cancer patients who are the No. 1 recipients of blood – are counting on you to ensure a steady blood supply is available for those in need. The life-saving blood products they require can only come from volunteer donors like you.

The 2nd annual Save Our Summer Blood Drives: 

  • Wednesday, July 17, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., in the ICU Walkway in Atrium Health Main
  • Friday, July 19, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., in the main floor conference room of Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital (1000 Blythe Blvd. in Charlotte).

Schedule appointment by calling 1.888.9DONATE (1.888.936.6283) or online here.

All presenting blood donors will receive a special limited-edition OneBlood Cooler and $10 eGift card voucher as a thank you. 

Make an appointment by July 16th to be entered to win raffle prizes such as a Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation Foursome, Doc Porters Tour Voucher for four and a bottle of whiskey, Viva Chicken gift cards, and many more prizes! 


239 blood units collected. 717 local lives impacted.

239 blood units collected. 717 local lives impacted.

Thank you to all the donors, Community Blood Center of the Carolinas staff, and all the local businesses who donated snacks and raffle items. We can’t think of a more powerful way to honor Isabella’s life.

Remember, cancer patients are the NUMBER 1 recipients of blood products. It really is one of the easiest ways to make an impact. You can impact up to 3 lives with each blood donation which equals to about one pint.  All who donated on March 9th will be eligible in 56 days (or 8 weeks) to donate again, mark it on your calendar!

Make your next appointment to donate the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas.

The Impact of Losing a Best Friend

Isabella & Soleil

Saturday, March 9 marks what would have been Isabella’s 14th birthday. It’s also when the Isabella Santos Foundation is teaming up with the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) to host several community blood drives to honor the life and legacy of Isabella.

It seems only fitting that one of the March 9 community blood drives will be hosted by Stephanie Foreman, the mother of Isabella’s best friend, Soleil. It will take place from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Overture Cotswold located at 4830 Randolph Road in Charlotte.

“This blood drive is a great opportunity to bring people together to honor Isabella,” said Stephanie. “Knowing Isabella really opened my eyes about the importance of blood donation. I learned that it’s not just for accidents, but also for cancer patients and others in our community.” 

The Impact of Losing a Best Friend

Isabella & Soleil

Soleil and Isabella became the best of friends after meeting in pre-school at age two and discovering they lived in the same neighborhood. They hit it off and did play dates, sleepovers and even combined birthday parties (Soleil’s birthday is March 2). 

“The girls were inseparable,” said Stephanie. “They were opposite and so cute together.”

Isabella’s cancer diagnosis and journey had a profound impact on Stephanie and Soleil, who had to learn at a very young age what cancer was. It became very normal for Soleil to visit and have play dates with Isabella at Levine Children’s Hospital.

The impact of Isabella’s passing still affects Soleil today who, even after seven years, still struggles with the trauma of losing her best friend. Not only did Soleil endure the split of her parents a year and a half prior, but then her best friend passing away. The once bubbly young girl became more introverted and anxious. 

Isabella’s passing also affected “Miss Stephanie” – Isabella’s term of endearment for Stephanie – who had anxiety attacks for two years. For Stephanie, it was like losing a daughter as she and “Ibba” shared a close bond. 

Isabella & Miss Stephanie

The Healing Process

With therapy and loving guidance from her mom, Soleil is communicating better, is more open to volunteering at ISF and is excited for the March 9 blood drive to honor her best friend. Through events like the blood drive, Soleil is able to see how much good has come from Isabella’s life.

Stephanie and her girls, Soleil and Ciel, have remained involved in ISF since its inception from participating in the race and volunteering. While Stephanie has been a loyal blood donor, she wanted to do more by hosting this community blood drive to honor Isabella and to help others. 

“The ISF team amazes me and I am so proud of them. I remember when this all started. To see where the organization is today is unreal with what they have done and what they are doing,” said Stephanie. “It takes away the pain in my throat when I see ISF’s accomplishments and how they are carrying on Isabella’s legacy.”

CBCC will also be raffling off $100 gift cards to donors who schedule their March 9 appointment prior to the day of the drive. Schedule your appointment online for all locations or call 1-888-59BLOOD.

Community Blood Drives to Honor Isabella Santos – March 9

In partnership with the Isabella Santos Foundation and Community Blood Center of the Carolinas

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Feb. 26, 2019 – The Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) and Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) will be teaming up to host several community blood drives in memory of Isabella Santos on Saturday, March 9.

The following blood drives are being held on what would have been Santos’ 14th birthday to honor her life and legacy:

  • Isabella Santos Center in Ballantyne

12239 N. Community House Road, Charlotte

7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

*There will also be a bloodmobile parked in front of the Isabella Santos Center

  • Overture Cotswold

4830 Randolph Road, Charlotte

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

*Hosted by the mother (Stephanie Forman) of Isabella’s best friend

  • Firebirds/Jersey Mike’s (Stonecrest)

7716 Rea Road, Charlotte

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

*Two bloodmobiles will be located in the parking lot across from Firebirds and Jersey Mike’s

  • At Four of CBCC’s Donor Centers from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.:
    • Charlotte Center: 4447 South Blvd.
    • Concord Center: 363 Church Street North, Suite 170
    • Gastonia Center: 2524 East Franklin Blvd, Suite E
    • Hickory Center: 2217 Highway 70 SE

CBCC will also be raffling off $100 gift cards to donors who schedule their March 9 appointment prior to the day of the drive. For questions or to make an appointment for any of these blood drives, visit here or call 1-888-59BLOOD.

Isabella Santos passed away at age seven from a five-year battle with neuroblastoma, a rare type of pediatric cancer. During her treatment, she received several blood and platelet transfusions. According to CBCC, cancer patients are the No. 1 recipients of blood products. One local children’s hospital alone requires nearly 300 units of red blood cells and more than 100 units of platelets each month.

“Community Blood Center of the Carolinas has been an incredible partner and supporter throughout Isabella’s cancer journey and with our efforts to carry on her legacy to impact the lives of children with cancer,” said Erin Santos, executive director and president of the Isabella Santos Foundation. “We appreciate the community coming together on March 9 in memory of Isabella and to support local patients who need life-saving blood.”

All donors at these March 9 blood drives will receive an Isabella Santos Center logo purple blanket, Lifesaving Journey shirt, a Cancer Messed With discount card and a Jersey Mike’s cookie. In addition, donors will be entered to win the following giveaways: Wells Fargo Championship Weekly Ticket Book gift certificate for two; John Hardy earrings in 8K yellow gold and sterling silver; Nothing Bundt Cakes; American Girls Doll (two winners); Firebirds gift card; $100 iTunes Gift Card; Y2 Yoga Gift Card and more.

“We value our relationship with the Isabella Santos Foundation, which is the manifestation of Isabella’s legacy of community support and caring,” said Martin Grable, president and CEO of CBCC. “It is very rewarding to partner with such an ambitious and highly successful group of people dedicated to raising awareness of rare childhood cancers. We encourage the public to make a difference by rolling up their sleeves and giving blood in memory of Isabella [Santos] and to save local lives.”

About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas

Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is the local nonprofit, community-based blood center and the primary blood supplier to the region’s hospitals. CBCC collects blood and blood products from volunteer donors in the community to return to the community at the lowest possible cost consistent with the highest possible standards. CBCC is a member of America’s Blood Centers, North America’s largest network of community-based, independent blood centers that provide more than 50 percent of the nation’s blood supply. For more information, visit

For more information on hosting a blood drive or donating blood in your area, visit or call 1-888-59BLOOD. Follow Community Blood Center of the Carolinas on Facebook, on Instagram and on

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 over $3 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 follow ISF on Facebook (, Instagram (, Twitter ( and LinkedIn (

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Jenni Walker – Walker PR Group – 980-339-8041-office/704-649-6571-cell

Every Drop Stays Here. Save Local Lives.

As our fundraising season moves full steam ahead with our Coffee for a Cure events scheduled at the end of March, we want to introduce you to some amazing companies that have decided to partner with us for the 2017 year as a Sustaining Sponsor.

Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, CBCC, has been near and dear to our hearts since Isabella received numerous blood and platelet transfusions to help her stay strong and fight neuroblastoma.  Since Isabella passed, CBCC has sponsored our 5K/10K & 1 mile fun run for Kids Cancer every year in honor of Isabella. And because CBCC helped sustain Isabella’s life while she was fighting, we host our annual Blood Drive every year on Isabella’s birthday (March 9th).  We absolutely love this partnership we have with our local blood center.  This year, CBCC is taking their support a step further by becoming a 2017 Sustaining Sponsor.  We couldn’t be more thrilled.

Isabella and her daddy, CBCC Blood Drive, 2012

Many people may not know, but cancer patients are the #1 recipients of blood products.  Sharing Isabella’s story allowed CBCC to show people first-hand the importance of donating blood and hosting blood drives in our community.  Although Isabella lost her life to neuroblastoma, she would have never survived as long as she did without CBCC and the blood products she received.

You can help!  Join CBCC to save local lives by donating blood or platelets, or by organizing a blood drive at your workplace, organization or house of worship.

Remember:  Every drop stays here.  Saving local lives.


Community Blood Center of the Carolinas

CBCC is an independent, locally managed, non-profit community blood center. We are the primary blood supplier to the region’s patients and hospitals.

CBCC is a member of the America’s Blood Centers, a group of 67 independent blood centers that supplies 50 percent of the country’s blood. The excess supply in the Carolinas is shared with other communities when needed.

Visit the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas website


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