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Charlotte, North Carolina

Isabella “Ib” was a special little girl.  She faced more in her six years of life than most of us will in a lifetime.  At just two years old, she felt back pain that slowly worsened. Her parents were told that Ib had a tumor above her kidney, and when cancer was found in her bone marrow, she was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma.

After nine months of treatment, Ib was declared cancer-free, but her first routine scan detected a brain tumor. The cancer had returned.


She underwent brain surgery and 18 more months of treatment.  Three months later, she relapsed again and started high-dose chemotherapy. During her treatments, Ib received blood and platelets to help her stay strong and fight the cancer. She was able to go to the beach, play with her pets and be a great big sister.

She fought relapses until June 28, 2012.  Despite years of illness, Isabella was a beautiful little girl with a big heart who was also an advocate for blood donation – even at her young age. She inspired the creation of the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) to fund research for childhood cancer.

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