Dear Friends and Family,
I am writing with exciting news: I’m currently training for my 4th half marathon (13.1 miles) this November! But this time…I’m doing it for more than just myself. I joined a running/training team (called the dream team) and am fundraising for the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF). The ISF mission is to raise money and awareness for neuroblastoma research in the hopes of one day finding a cure. Isabella was 2 years old when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and passed away after battling the disease for 5 years in 2012. Isabella dreamed of a world with “No More Cancer” and the Foundation continues in her name, hoping another child will be saved through funds raised in her memory.

Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer of the sympathetic nervous system – a nerve network that carries messages from the brain throughout the body. It is usually found in young children and is the most common cancer among infants. Neuroblastoma has one of the lowest survival rates of all pediatric cancers and accounts for 15% of all pediatric cancer deaths.

Although I never met Isabella, I met Isabella’s mom, Erin, last year when I attended an ice-cream party for the patients of Levine Children’s Hospital hosted by the ISF. I saw Erin’s passion for fighting for a cure and knew I wanted to get involved. You can learn more about Santos family story at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzMoTCHEkJY. I am now training with Erin and community members that inspire me to run in the heat and humidity, not because it is easy, but because children like Isabella couldn’t quit things were hard.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and my goal is to raise $500 by the end of the month to turn awareness into action. You can donate online at http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/juliaesmith15/isabellaactionteam.

I will also donate all my profits from my Amway business in the month of September to the Foundation. No matter if you purchase laundry detergent or a light-up lipgloss, I will donate all the money I make to ISF. If you would like to purchase products, please visit http://www.amway.com/jsmith60.

Thank you for continually supporting me in all the opportunities I have been blessed to take part in. You are truly making a difference not only in Charlotte, but for families around the world as we fight to find a cure.