Foundation’s mission carries on for Isabella

Funeral service is July 7 at Calvary Church

by Mike Parks

Isabella Santos, seen here in September, died late last month following a long battle with neuroblastoma, a form of cancer. The Isabella Santos Foundations is accepting donations to fight the disease. SCW file photo

Isabella Santos, the 7-year-old namesake of the Isabella Santos Foundation, died June 28, 2012, from pediatric cancer.

Isabella’s family and friends started the local nonprofit after she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of 2. Since then, the group has worked to raise money for, and awareness of, neuroblastoma and research into the disease, as well as provide help to families with children going through the diagnoses. Funds raised also helps programs like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of sick children, and Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, which serves families with children at nearby hospitals.

The group hosts a number of events, including a recent 5K held in Ballantyne. At that September event, Isabella rode most of the 5K in a little red wagon pulled by family members, saving up her energy for a dance marathon afterward where she got down to the likes of Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus, and her favorite tune, Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies.”

Isabella’s parents had found out shortly before the 5K that her diagnoses had worsened, and there weren’t many options left for doctors.

Isabella’s grandmother, Joanne Santos, and great-grandfathers, Emmett Culley and Richard Myers, preceded her in death.

Survivors include her parents, Stuart and Erin Santos; brother, Grant; sister, Sophia; maternal grandparents Connie Myers, Norm Myers and Bob Stewart; parental grandparents Don and Katherine Santos, maternal great-grandmothers Rita Culley and Reda Myers; and aunts, uncles and cousins.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, July 7, at Calvary Church, 5801 Pineville-Matthews Road.

The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Isabella’s foundation at www.isabellasantosfoundation.com.

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