The Heart Connection

Rating: 4.97 stars   110 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Cancer

Location: 1221 Center St Ste 12 Des Moines IA 50309 USA

Mission: We enhance the quality of life for families connected through childhood cancer, and create opportunities to learn, play, and share.
Geographic areas served: Iowa and surrounding states
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

EIN 42-1313167
515-243-6239
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

We love Childern's Cancer Connection! When my youngest was diagnosed with a brain tumor 3 years ago the CCC was there to support us. We have participated in the Beads of Bravery program. My oldest has been to Sibling Camp 3 years in a row and her smile says it all when we pick her up at the end of the week! The CCC puts on an AWESOME Christmas party every year with ice skating, snacks, story time and SANTA. My oldest has also participated in a basketball camp for 2 years now. We have been to Adventureland with the CCC and participated in CLUB HOPE; a support group for families. There is so much more and without the CCC the last three years would have been a lot harder. We have fond memories to look back on and fun to look forward too! Thank you so much Children's Cancer Connection!

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

Camp, Club Hope, Beads of Bravery, etc

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

n/a

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Children's Cancer Connection really helped me through my time of need. I was a 13 year old boy just diagnosed with cancer. I was really upset that I had to go through this. I really did not want to participate in any of the things the CCC wanted me to do but they kept trying. Eventually I went to a Timberwolves game with them, and that talked me into going to camp. Going to camp was the best thing for me. Through camp I have made life long friends and still volunteer there today.

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

My struggle with chemo therapy.

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

Make sure every State had one.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Heart Connection gives so many children going through treatments, beads for bravery, which our son has quite a few of. Gifts at christmas time for the whole family, and gifts periodically while having treatments at the hospital , they are really great to have in our lives.

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

our son has leukemia

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

do nothing to change

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I was diagnosed with leukemia in April 1989 at the age of 9. In June of 1989 I attended my first week of Heart Connection Camp. Since then, I have been both a camper and volunteer for this organization. All of my experiences with the Heart Connection are memories I cherish from a time in my life when most would probably think that I would rather have not have memories!
The Heart Connection provides services to children and young adults who are fighting or who have survived childhood cancer. I can't imagine that there is a better organization in the United States with the same mission.

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

Oncology Camper, oncology staff, volunteer

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

Strengthen their survivorship program

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Children's Cancer Connection has been an incredible support system for our family as our son was going through treatments. We really love how the WHOLE family is included since cancer not only impacts the child going through it, but it really turns the whole household upside down! The family camp and summer camp were awesome! Last year was the first year for my kids and they were so excited to get Valentine notes from their counselors recently! It meant so much to them that they sent a note and they are excited to attend again this year to see their camp friends. Obviously, camp is only a part of what this organization does, but we are thankful that they were available to us during the treatments and continue to be part of our family during our continued followups. What a great resource and support system for the entire family.

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

I have attended the support group meetings which are so helpful. It was awesome having the support of other parents that had walked the a similar road with their child. The extra activities such as the zoo, Incredible Pizza and the American Idol show were things that my kids would not have been able to do. It was treat to get out on those evenings and things would seem "normal". Of course, I know that nothing is "normal" anymore once you have experienced a child with cancer.

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

I know they had to cut staff this year because of budget cuts. I would love to make it so they would not have to worry about the budget and the staff would be able to just do what they are great at doing - "Supporting Familes".

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

We've been associated with The Heart Connection since my son was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer in 2000. They are an indespensible resource for children and families dealing with childhood cancer. It's hard enough for kids to go through the rigors of cancer treatment and feel "different" from all their friends. Their summer camp allows these kids to act like normal kids for a week and have the true summer camp expereicne without other kids staring at their lack of hair, their wheelchair, braces, crutches, etc. My son has attended camp numerous times with braces and crutches and has had an amazing time and will be continuing as an adult counselor. They also provide support group services for families including on for the survivors who have beomce adults, addressing the possible after affects of their treatments and helping them move forward. It's not just a charity that sends kids to camp, they look for needs in every aspect of dealing with childhood cancer and try to fill them. INVALUABLE pretty much sums up The Heart Connection. - Carol L

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

Through my son's attendance at their summer camps and other events sponsored by The Heart Connection. They help the kids feel "normal" when that is the farthest thing from their life at that moment. They educate and assist in any and all needs.

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

give them more staff to continue their work, they were hit by the recession just like everyone else.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Childrens Cancer Connection has been a part of our life since our daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia nearly ten years ago. CCC provides many opportunities and support for the children and their families while dealing with cancer. They provide some activites while the child is at the clinic or hospital. They provide camp to the children and their siblings, and numerous other activities throughout the year. My children are always excited when anything is going on with the CCC. The connections that the children have made with the other campers and staff are priceless, and life long.

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

being a mother with a child diagnosed with cancer

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

Find ways so they can continue to serve as many children and families as possible.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

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!

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.

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

honor and build upon its original spirit.

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?

2008-8-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

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.

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

helping my family cope and survive a cancer diagnosis.

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.

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.

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

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

I absolutely love the Heart Connection!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-6-01

 
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