“Making the decision to have a child is momentous,” Elizabeth Stone said. “It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
For parents with children suffering from cancer, their hearts are walking around broken, and it seems difficult to imagine anything sadder and more terrifying.
Isabella Santos was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma on October 4, 2007, when she was just 2. Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer of the sympathetic nervous system that affects young children and infants. The five-year survival rate is 30 percent, with 60 percent of survivors relapsing, at which time the survival rate drops down to 5 percent. Isabella’s battle came to an end on June 28, 2012.
Her parents started a foundation in her name — the Isabella Santos Foundation — in an effort to raise awareness for neuroblastoma and other pediatric cancers with the hope that “another child will be saved through funds raised in Isabella’s memory.”
A social-media campaign is currently underway in which the Isabella Santos Foundation is asking everyone is asked to take selfies of themselves saying what three wishes they want to put out in the world for kids with cancer — and then share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ISF3Wishes.
The hope is that the wishes will help bring further awareness to pediatric cancers — and eradicate them for good by raising money to go towards research and cures. The Isabella Santos Foundation has raised over $350,000 in the past five years.
Here’s a sampling of some of the wishes people have put out there to date:
The Isabella Santos Foundation 1 of 17
What do you wish for kids with cancer?
School, More School, Cures 2 of 17
1. Go to school instead of chemo.
2. Become a doctor.
3. Cure cancer.
Life, Perseverance, Acceptance 3 of 17
1. Forever cure.
2. Never give up.
3. Fit in.
Win, Grow, Live 4 of 17
1. Beat cancer.
2. Grow hair.
3. Live my dreams.
Kisses, Smiles, Adult Sizes 5 of 17
1. That princesses get kisses.
2. You'll always have a reason to smile.
3. Outgrow your "proud cancer survivor" t-shirt.
Buddies, Longevity, Smart Snacks 6 of 17
1. To be your pet for a long time.
2. Not outlive you.
3. Eat your homework for many, many years!!
Play, Fight, Win 7 of 17
1. Ride a pony.
2. Love Jesus.
3. Kick cancer's butt.
Good Stuff, Good Friends, Laughter 8 of 17
1. Find more good stuff to fight the bad stuff.
2. Not lose any more of my friends to cancer.
3. Have a long life with lots of laughter.
Friends, Sisters, Moms 9 of 17
1. NEVER lose another friends to cancer.
2. ALWAYS have a sister.
3. FOREVER be a mom.
Give Instead of Receive, Blissful Ignorance, Idle Time 10 of 17
1. To donate platelets instead of receive them.
2. To not know what a platelet is until biology class.
3. Enjoy summer break instead of worrying about a transfusion.
Conquer Fears, Beat Cancer, Endless Kisses 11 of 17
1. Live to face and conquer your fears.
2. For childhood cancers to get the attention they deserve.
3. To never have to kiss someone goodbye for good.
Cures, Prayers, Happiness 12 of 17
1. Help find a cure for cancer.
2. Trust in the Lord with all our hearts.
3. No more sad mommies and daddies.
Friends, Courage, Chances 13 of 17
1. Have a good friend close by (4- or 2-legged).
2. The courage to make it through.
3. A second chance to do and see it all.
Grow, Grow, Grow 14 of 17
1. Grow awareness of this awful disease.
2. Grow hope for the children and their families battling cancer.
3. Grow the urgency for funding.
Cure, Comfort, Fun 15 of 17
1. Find cure.
2. No pain.
3. Have fun life.
Love, Happiness, Family 16 of 17
1. To fall in love . . . a lot.
2. To never experience pain.
3. To become a mommy.
Isabella Santos 17 of 17
Learn more about Isabella Santos here.
All images used with permission from the Isabella Santos Foundation
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