A $5 million charitable donation from the Isabella Santos Foundation has been committed to the Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital, reports FinacialContent. It will be used to establish The Isabella Santos Foundation Rare & Solid Tumour Program at the Levine hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Isabella Santos Foundation, behind the donation, was set up in memory of Isabella Santos by her parents. Isabella was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called a neuroblastoma in 2007. Neuroblastoma cancer is a cancer of the nerve tissue that affects about 750 children per year. During her five-year struggle with the cancer, Isabella was mainly treated at the Levine Children’s Hospital.
However, some specialist and new treatments or clinical trials required her to travel out of state to New York and Philadelphia. While Isabella was able to travel out of state, many other children don’t have this option. This experience led Isabella’s parents to create the Foundation, and to donate $5 million to the hospital where she was treated so that other children in the area can locally receive the treatments that Isabella had to travel out of state for. Isabella’s mother, Erin Santos, says,
“While I wish Isabella could have received the therapy in Charlotte, it is through her legacy that other families will be able to do so.”
The donation will be used to set up a rare and solid tumour program in Isabella’s name. This program will be responsible for all rare tumours, solid tumours, MIBG therapy, and the clinical trials and research linked to these diseases at the Levine Hospital. This means that it is likely to treat approximately one third of the new cancer patients that come to Levine Hospital each year. In addition to this, it plans to increase the number of clinical trials at the hospital so that more treatments can be tested. As part of these changes, a team of healthcare providers and researchers will be created over a five-year period. The first role to be filled is going to be that of the medical director.