Remembering Isabella…

Today, March 9, Isabella Santos would have celebrated her 8th birthday. It should be a day of princesses and frilly skirts and cool boots and American Girl and dancing and singing and all the things Ib loved.

Instead, her parents are holding a blood drive in their daughter’s honor.

Isabella died last summer, on June 28, at the tender age of 7. She was killed by a cruel bastard known as stage IV neuroblastoma. She fought like hell for five of her seven years. But the beast finally defeated her.

In her new blog, Summer of the Dragonfly (, Isabella’s mom, Erin, begins to open up about what it’s like trying to move forward in her life without her beloved baby girl. For those of us with (knock wood) healthy children, it’s yet another reminder about how on any day, at any time, this beast can enter our lives. With no warning, no pre-existing conditions, no long-lasting symptoms. It just comes. Randomly. And it wreaks havoc and complete, total devastation in the process.

Erin has one wish for today (other than the obvious one, that sadly, none of us can make happen): Please, if you are able, give blood today in Isabella’s honor. And if you are able, please donate to Isabella’s foundation ( and help in the fight to end childhood cancer.

All of us can make a difference. That’s what Isabella believed until the day she died. And boy, what a difference that little girl made!

Happy birthday, Ib. You are deeply missed, and your spirit lives on in the thousands of people like me that you touched. Rest in peace, sweet girl…

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