ISF Intern teams were challenged with creating a 7 day social media rare pediatric campaign to help raise awareness.  Each team was assigned with a designated rare cancer and responsible for conducting research, creating a storyboard and plan, developing daily educational graphics and content.

Congrats to Team Happy Feet for bringing in the win for this 2-week creative challenge.  Happy Feet provided the most detailed and organized research and planning with a good mixture of visual elements and educational detail.

Team Purple Cancer Eaters Rare Pediatric Cancer Campaign: DIPG

Intern Lead:  Ashton Barlow, College of Charleston


What is DIPG? ISF raises funds and awareness for RARE forms of pediatric cancer including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. DIPG is an aggressive form of cancer that is in the brainstem. DIPG is terminal upon diagnosis with no current effective treatment or cure. This means a child’s DIPG diagnosis turns life for the family into an unknown period of waiting and taking advantage of each and every day. Help change the future of DIPG by funding research through donations to ISF!


Did you know? DIPG is ultimately terminal upon being diagnosed. In fact, the overall survival rate is less than a year with a 2 year survival rate of 10% and 5 year survival rate of 2%. Only 300 children are diagnosed with DIPG each year, making it one of the very rare cancers that ISF raises funds and awareness for. DIPG is most commonly diagnosed in patients between the ages of 5 and 10. Although there is no cure, radiation therapy can in some cases increase the survival rate by an average of 3-6 months. Now that you are more familiar with the statistics surrounding DIPG, take the next step towards changing these numbers by donating to ISF today!


Meet Mackenzie! Mackenzie is a fun-loving 4 year old facing one of the hardest childhood diagnoses. In April of 2018, Mackenzie fell off a stool and hit her head. After tests and an MRI, she was diagnosed with DIPG a year ago in June. DIPG stands for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma which is a disease that has no chance of survival and no real treatment plan. Her mother, Lynn Barron, describes her experience as a parent of a child with cancer as part of ISF’s Through My Eyes campaign. “I feel broken,” she states. “My whole life changed in an instant.” Her full blog post is linked below. Take the time to read her very raw words, and recognize the immense strength of the Barron family, along with all other families fighting a terminal diagnosis. With your help, the Isabella Santos Foundation can bring hope to families like Mackenzie’s that are facing terminal diagnoses.


Did you know? Many children, along with their families, must travel across the country to receive proper cancer care, especially children such as Mackenzie who are facing a rare form of childhood cancer. The efforts of the Isabella Santos Foundation expand far beyond Charlotte, NC. When Mackenzie was being treated for her DIPG in Cincinnati at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, ISF donated $7,500 to their research for DIPG. No matter what, ISF always supports their cancer buddies and ultimately can’t stop, won’t stop until we defeat pediatric cancer. With your help, we can continue to help kids like Mackenzie with DIPG beat the odds.


What questions do YOU have about DIPG? Leave a comment below to ask a question about DIPG or how you can help other kids with DIPG!


Meet Dr. Giselle Sholler! Dr. Sholler is the newest member of the ISF clinical team. She will be fighting to end pediatric cancer in Charlotte as she joins Levine Children’s Hospital as the new Isabella Santos Foundation Endowed Director of the Pediatric Oncology Solid and Rare Tumor Program. Her focus and past experience includes working with DIPG, giving new hope to the families and children with this diagnosis. She has been brainstorming many clinical trials and wants to possibly create a pediatric oncology research lab during her time with Levine’s. Collecting more research data would allow the program to learn more about the nature of the disease and create new, more effective treatments. ISF is so happy to have Dr. Sholler as part of the team, joining the fight to enhance pediatric cancer care.


Due to the funds raised by the Isabella Santos Foundation, the pediatric oncology program at Levine Children’s Hospital is opening doors for new research in rare childhood cancers. Dr. Sholler and Dr. Oesterheld, the leader of the pediatric oncology team, have plans for new studies utilizing the resources donated by ISF. Part of these plans includes a study that will treat 10 children with DIPG. Steps such as these are bringing a new hope to the children facing a DIPG diagnosis. Read even more about the plans for the future of pediatric oncology in A Letter From Dr. Shoulder linked below. You can contribute to the fight against DIPG and donate today. It is because of donations like yours that this research program is even possible. Follow the steps in the video below to donate through the ISF website!

Below are samples of  Team Purple Cancer Eater’s campaign graphics.