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August 11, 2009

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August 11, 2009

I was a sibling camper at the Heart Connection for 10 years. Throughout those years, I was able to share my experiences with other kids who went through the exact same thing. I made more friends through camp than I could have every imagined. Camp meant so much to my brother and I that we both now volunteer as counselors at camp. I am so please to know that by me donating just one week of time to those kids, they are able to cope with cancer a little easier. The Heart Connection has done so much for my family and for families like mine, and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. I would not be the person that I am today without them.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

everything. I have made such amazing friends and I know that I am helping people by donating my time.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing. They give so much for the children that attend the camp.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help even more families than it already does.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 4, 2009

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August 4, 2009

The Heart Connection has played an invaluable role in my family's coping with a childhood cancer diagnosis. My niece has found a place, in Camp, where she is free to acknowledge her feelings and express them however she needs; with people who really understand. She lost her sister eight years ago and without Heart Connection I don't think she'd be the healthy, well-adjusted teenager she is today. We have bene blessed by this wonderful organization!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my niece's ability to cope with her sister's diagnosis and death through interaction with others who are right where she was/is.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

honor and build upon its original spirit.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching the children at camp; full of life and hope and joy!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

across the board, professional and dedicated, but also infinitely compassionate, caring, and committed to providing a safe, nurturing environment for our kids.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach more kids and families, build more year-round programs, create a family camp, and engage in even more community outreach!

Ways to make it better...

there were more social opportunities for siblings througout the year.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

ontinued funding and outreach.

One thing I'd also say is that...

avoiding the rainbow emblem because of potential confusion with "gay" issues is ludicrous.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

July 31, 2009

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July 31, 2009

My daughter was diagnosed with cancer at age 11, but the truth is, the whole family has to work at survival. The Heart Connection is hands down the main reason that my kids have learned to cope. We have what I believe to be a close, loving family, but my son, who was 9 at the time of her diagnosis, was dealing by literally running away. After one week at The Heart Connection Camp, he came home a different kid. He came home a survivor. My kids have attended for 6 years now and their camp counselors and camp friends have been a tremendous influence in their lives. There is something incredibly special about being around others who know what you're going through. I don't think it always takes words, but rather just the presence of someone who understands, and that seems to be what makes the difference at The Heart Connection Camp. Everyone just understands without having to explain anything. Thank you Heart Connection for providing so many beautiful years of survival for my entire family.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping my family cope and survive a cancer diagnosis.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

implement programs that made sure the staff knew how important they were in improving the lives of families.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

experiencing the genuine love and compassion of strangers turned friends.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

absolutely fantastic, caring, loving and generous in sharing their talents.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

forever help families survive in a world where there is not yet a cure, but there is hope and love and compassion!

Ways to make it better...

I could have taken part in the out of town activities that were often to difficult to travel to.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I absolutely love the Heart Connection!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 31, 2009

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July 31, 2009

I will be volunteering at Heart Connection camp for the second time this August and I cannot wait. The best part is seeing how easy it is for the children to bond knowing that they all share something in common. The Heart Connection does so many great things for children with cancer and their families. They also focus a lot of their efforts on siblings of children affected by cancer because most times they get left out. Because of Heart Connection there are countless friendships between families, cancer wariors, and siblings; these are the friendships that keep hope alive.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the impact among children with cancer, their siblings and family members. Sometimes I wonder how a family could ever get through such a horrible disease without the support of others who know exactly what each family has to experience.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 31, 2009

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July 31, 2009

I've been volunteering for The Heart Connection for a few years and I want to let everyone know how inspiration the organization is. To see the children at summer camp that can relate to one another because of their illness is powerful. This organzation brings together a number of different people who work to help make the lives of families and children that are affected with childhood cancer a little easier. This organization wouldn't be possile without the giving donors, helpful staff and supportive volunteers. Overall, It's a great organization to be associated with.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Camps that they offer for children affected by cancer and their siblings!

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 31, 2009

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July 31, 2009

The Heart Connection has a wonderful and friendly staff that is unbeatable. The programs and services are top-quality and are truly making a difference in our community!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful and thoughtful.

Ways to make it better...

A bigger budget for program development.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 31, 2009

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July 31, 2009

The Heart Connection is an amazing organization that is filled with love and support. This organization makes a difference in the lives of the people that it touches. Through the many events that I've volunteered at for The Heart Connection, I can see how hard the staff, volunteers and supporters work for this organzation.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

it's programs for children and families affected by childhood cancer.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

inspirational.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the lives of SOOO many people.

Ways to make it better...

I would have known about The Heart Connection sooner so I could have been volunteering longer with them!

One thing I'd also say is that...

this organzation is truly a blessing.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 31, 2009

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July 31, 2009

The weeks I have spent volunteering at Camp Heart Connection have been amazing! To see Oncology Campers who have been so sick during the year thriving outdoors and to see Sibling Campers who are often in the shadows during the year get attention showered on them makes my year. Camp Heart Connection changes lives of both the kids and the staff.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The child who comes to camp with no hair and no confidence telling jokes and leading songs for the whole camp by the end of the week!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Keep up the good work.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Everything!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Fabulous!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Bring more programs to other parts of the state and expand programming for young adult cancer survivors.

Ways to make it better...

Important people in my life got more involved with this program.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Iowa has a lot of remote areas that may have only one childhood cancer survivor in the whole county, while urban areas can have upwards of 100...providing services to all must be a challange.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Camp Heart Connecion is always the best week ever.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 31, 2009

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July 31, 2009

One of the many blessings that came to our family in the difficult journey of our son's diagnosis of Ewing's Sarcoma at age 7 is the Heart Connection. The times that we spent together at Family Camps over the years were invaluable in many ways. We had fun and could actually relax in the unique company of families and staff who knew all about our struggles.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my son - his week at Oncology camp was the only time during treatment that he was comfortable enough to go bald-headed without his cap and wear short sleeves that showed his scar.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Meeting other cancer families.

Ways to make it better...

Sibling camp was always scheduled the very week before my son started school.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

July 31, 2009

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July 31, 2009

I was introduced to the Heart Connection when my 3 yr. old son, Derek, was diagnosed with brain cancer November 2007. The staff provided a treatment book to help us keep track of all of the procedures, appointments, doctors, and medicines he would need for the next 16 months. Later the Heart Connection further help our family by allowing our daughter 6 yr old Jenna to go to camp with other siblings with the same experiences as her. She realized she was not alone and it allowed her to escape from the realities of cancer and enjoy being a child. She is anxiously awaiting camp this year and has already said she wants to be a counselor when the time comes. In addition, the Heart Connection has helped us with the creation of ClupHOPE, an organization fo parents caring for children in any stage of diagnosis, treatment, recovery, or rememberance. Families can meet and discuss the struggles they are facing with caring individuals who understand the problems, The warmth and caring offered by the Heart Connection is unsurpassed. Heart Connection events are a highlight on the calendar and always something to look forward to in the month. It is a respite from the stress and worries that treatment brings. It is an environment of trust, respect, fun, and love.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

creation of ClubHOPE to assist families.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their willingness to help children and families in many ways other than just the camps. The Heart Connection looks to the people who use their services and alter where needed.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the best in the world. Always upbeat and happy and willing to help.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Touch even more children and families.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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