Make a Difference In Style With The Isabella Santos Foundation

Make a Difference In Style with ISF

Founded in 2007 and local to South Charlotte, The Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) was created by the parents of Isabella Santos who passed away from a rare cancer at seven-years-old. Fifteen years later, Isabella’s mom and ISF Executive Director, Erin Santos, leads a team of seven women who work every day in her daughter’s name.

On most days, you can find the women of ISF holding meetings from their kitchen tables or in the school carpool line. Several team members have been with the foundation since the early days, some are new. Each of them has their own reasons for working for a pediatric cancer charity and are die-hard passionate about making a difference for kids fighting like Isabella did.

Celebrating 15 Years of Making a Difference

In its 15th year, ISF is celebrating its successes with several events. The foundation has donated just over $1 Million for two consecutive years and is hoping they will be able to beat those give-back numbers with the comeback of in-person events. Earlier this year, ISF held a women’s event that raised $190,000, as well as a golf tournament raising $70,000. Both events were hosted in the South Charlotte area. Coming up is their 5K/10K for Kids Cancer 15th Anniversary Event presented by Hendrick Luxury Group on Saturday, October 15th. This event includes a 5K,10K, Fun Run, Brunch (with additional fee), kid’s zone and raffle!

If you need a reason to get dressed up and help ISF celebrate in style, here’s your chance. The foundation invites you to join them for their Black and White Bowtie Ball on Saturday, November 12th at the Ballantyne Hotel. Put on your best black and white formal attire and get ready for an evening with dinner, live music, dancing and the best auction in Charlotte to support research programs supporting kids fighting rare cancers at Levine Children’s Hospital.  

Erin Santos expressed her gratitude for the organization’s success sharing, “We raised $7,000 during the foundation’s first year and we were so proud. Little did we know that one day we would be here — giving away a million dollars a year. I’m not sure I ever thought this day would come but now that it’s here I feel like it’s just the beginning.”

ISF has donated more than $6 million to its mission, which has been carried out both locally and nationally through funding several pediatric cancer initiatives. The foundation is most proud of what they are building here in Charlotte, the Isabella Santos Foundation Rare & Solid Tumor Program which is the first of its kind in the country. Established in 2020, this program provides the most comprehensive care and treatments for pediatric cancer in our community and across the globe — all in honor of Isabella’s legacy.

Why the focus on rare cancers?

Isabella fought cancer for five years and simply ran out of treatment options. This is frequently the case for so many kids who are diagnosed with rare cancers. Childhood cancer is not just one disease. It is made up of 12 major types and over 100 subtypes and rare cancers fall into a category that receives little to no funding. It’s up to private foundations like ISF to raise funds for research and programs to fight these rare cancers.

September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. We invite you to make a difference. For more event information or to make a donation, visit To get involved and become a sponsor at either event, contact

The Foundation Celebrates This Fall

The Isabella Santos Foundation is celebrating its 15th Anniversary with upcoming events including their 15th Anniversary 5K/10K for Kids Cancer presented by Hendrick Luxury Group on October 15th and the ISF Black & White Bowtie Ball on November 12th. All proceeds benefit pediatric cancer and the ISF Rare and Solid Tumor Program at Levine Children’s Hospital. For more information or to make a donation, visit To become a sponsor at either event, contact  

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