Tag Archive for: Community Blood Center of the Carolinas

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.

A Cancer Mom’s Favorite Lame Excuses for Why People Can’t Give Blood

Tell a mom whose child passed away from cancer you can’t give blood… she will reply back with a snarky remark. Simply put, blood products give cancer patients a chance to fight back from the cancer that is trying to take them down.

Isabella endured five relapses with high-risk neuroblastoma before passing away at 7-years old in 2012. The countless blood products she received helped her avoid infections, treat anemia, avoid excessive bleeding during surgery and helped her stay strong during chemo treatments.  Join us and book your appointment now for our largest blood drive on March 9th.

Enjoy Erin Santo’s roundup of all time favorite lame excuses why people can’t give blood…

A Cancer Mom’s Favorite Lame Excuses for Why People Don’t Give Blood, by Erin Santos


  • “I’m good.” (What does this even mean?)
  • “I’m scared of needles.” (because Isabella wasn’t)
  • “I need my blood.” (you will get punched for this one)
  • “I’m anemic.” (we’ll check your iron)
  • “I have enough, don’t need to give any.” (I kid you not on this one)
  • “I just got a tattoo.” (urban myth)
  • “I am diabetic.” (urban myth)
  • “I have high blood pressure.” (relax already)
  • “I’m on too many medications.” (we’ll check this for you)
  • “I’ll pass out.” (no you won’t)
  • “I had a bad experience in 1980.” (really?)
  • “My veins are too small.” (I doubt it)
  • “I am too busy.” (come on, aren’t we all)
  • “My doctor said I shouldn’t.” (lie)
  • “I’m too old.” (are you breathing?)
  • “I don’t want to feel bad afterwards.” (eat beforehand)
  • “I already gave this year.” (you can give every 56 days)
  • “I have never done it before.” (my favorite… try something new)


  • Cancer patients are the #1 recipients of blood products.
  • One local children’s hospital alone requires nearly 300 unit of red blood cells & more than 100 units of platelets each month.
  • You can donate full blood every 56 days, which translates into every 8 weeks.
  • Each whole blood donation (1 pint) has the potential to save up to 3 lives.
  • Blood cannot be manufactured

Join us March 9th for our LARGEST blood drive yet with Community Blood Center of the Carolinas.  Multiple locations throughout the Charlotte region. All donors who schedule their appointment for one of the ISF blood drives before March 9th will be entered into a raffle for a $100 iTunes gift card!

All presenting donors March 9th will receive an Isabella Santos Center blanket, a special T-shirt, a Cancer Messed With discount card and a Jersey Mike’s cookie! Donors will also be entered to win the following giveaways

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 oneblood.org/cbcc/.

For more information on hosting a blood drive or donating blood in your area, visit www.cbcc.us or call 1-888-59BLOOD. Follow Community Blood Center of the Carolinas on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/BloodCenter, on Instagram https://instagram.com/cbccarolinas/ and on Twitterwww.twitter.com/CBCCarolinas.

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 www.isabellasantosfoundation.org  or follow ISF on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IsabellaSantosFoundation), Instagram (www.instagram.com/theisfoundation), Twitter (www.twitter.com/TheISFoundation) and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/isabella-santos-foundation/)

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


Things we hate to do, but still need to be done

Written by Erin Santos, Isabella’s Mom

I get it.  It’s not a fun thing to do.  You may drive all the way to the center and get turned away.  It’s cold in there.  It may take them a couple of tries to find a good vein.  You are worried you might pass out.  It might be uncomfortable for a while.  It’s boring.  It may take a little longer than you want it to.  I know all these things that go through your head, because they go through mine too.

You would think after our family’s experience, I would be giving blood every chance I could.  But, like you all – I get busy or some of these excuses start ringing in my head.  I have to be honest though, I do try as much as I can to give blood if I have the chance at a blood drive.  Giving blood doesn’t take long at all and other than having to control my alcohol or exercise that day – it doesn’t impact my life too much.  It’s like voting for me.  I feel good doing it and feel proud walking around with my elbow wrapped up in horrible blue tape for a couple of hours.  It’s like a battle scar that somehow says, “I care”.

Platelets.   For some reason this process is a whole new ball game.  I don’t give them as much as I should.  I’m just lazy about it really.  I’m very particular about my platelet giving.  It is a must to have someone with me to entertain me for 90 minutes.  I can’t focus on Isabella too much in those chairs or the experience may become to painful.

I have had some very memorable platelet donations.  The first anniversary of her death, I decided to schedule a platelet donation during the hours she died of June 28th.  I figured that if I was going to do this in her honor, let’s really do it.  The center was full that day as we were really pushing for 100 platelet donors that week, which is harder than landing on the moon apparently.  I sat in my chair and watched seas of purple come in and out.  Everyone knew that I was struggling because I sat there trying to have conversation, but knowing that tears that were falling slowly from my eyes as I talked.

I could see the hour of her death approaching and I just wanted to die.  My brother came in during that time and sat with me.  I think he gave blood instead of platelets that morning but all I really remember was him being with me.  He was there with me on the day we found out she had cancer, up until the day she died in our house.  He is a quiet brother at times but his presence is heavy.  We don’t often talk during these times about what is really going on in our head – it’s like an unspoken thing.  He knew how hard it was for me as I sat there and sobbed.  He just sat there – understanding how the things we hate to do, still need to be done.  This is not where I wanted to be on this morning and he knew it.  He knew I wanted to be in my bed, sobbing and not sitting here in this gray chair.  But once again, I was doing something, not for myself, but for her.  It was the longest donation of my life – but the most meaningful.

We left that morning together and drove to pick out an engagement ring for his girlfriend, Laura.  He let me be a part of a huge day in his life, maybe because I let him be a part of mine.  We went to lunch and had a drink and laughed.  By then my tears were dried up and I had focused on the excitement of his day.  He was starting a new chapter and I got to be there for it.  It was a good day in the end.

Each year as this date approaches, I feel myself wanting to retreat.  I have gotten a little smarter and try to no longer go during that hour of her passing.  It’s just not a smart thing for me to do anymore.  But I still go.  I go because I know how important blood and platelets were to her survival.  I go because I remember her bruising from the slightest touch and how platelets repaired her body so easily.  I go because I remember her not being able to walk into the hospital, only to find out that she was in such desperate need of a blood transfusion that I would have to carry her tired body everywhere.  She would run out of the clinic after her transfusion, as if the events of the earlier day never occurred.

I go because every time I’m there and I check in, the staff knows me and knows her.  Someone there always says a kind word to me about her legacy and I know there is no where else I should be.

I go because it’s the right thing to do.  I go for her.

Please help us honor Isabella through your platelet donation with The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas during the entire week of June 21-28…AND at ANY of their locations.  Our goal is a 100 donations.

– DATES: Thursday, June 21st – Thursday, June 28th
– GOAL: 100 donations
– PHONE: 1-888-59BLOOD / Can call to schedule at any center
– EMAIL: plateletdonor@cbcc.us