The Heart Connection first changed my life when my baby brother was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 1996, and has made my world a better place every day since then. Their support while we were going through treatment was invaluable, but the support they have given us in the time since my brother has been in remission has been amazing. There are few organizations that exist to help families navigate a post-cancer world, and the Heart Connection does it best!
Our son was diagnosed with ALL in January of 1994 when he was 8 years old. The Heart Connection was a blessing for our family in that it gave my wife and I much needed repite time when our son went to their oncology camp. He always had a fantastic time at camp and every year he would watch for the camp application in the mail so he wouldn't miss getting into camp. This is a wonderful organization that also provides a camp and other programs for siblings of chilren living with cancer. Many times the siblings feel left out because so much attention is focused on the child with cancer. Just a wonderful organization that does so much good in our world!
We were introduced to The Heart Connection 6 years ago when my son was diagnosed with cancer. They have given our family outings that we would have never been able to afford. The camps they hold are top notch and the support they give the parents, children and siblings is incredible. A great organization that cares about the WHOLE family!
I have been involved with the Heart Connection since I was diagnosed with Leukemia in 1989 at the age of 9. The Heart Connection is the bright spot in a very hard time in many children's lives. The Heart Connection focuses on not just the cancer fighter, but the siblings and parents too. Programs are in place to support the needs of the entire family throughout and after their cancer fight. I have made numerous friends who continue to be very special to me through the survivorship program. I also volunteer for this wonderful organization every chance I get.
The Heart Connection is an amazing camp that has helped me so much in my life. I live to go to this camp in the summer mostly because i don't have to worry about anything while i'm there. Everyone there knows what it's like and will talk to you about anything. Going to camp is a time to get away from friends, family, and most importantly doctors. The things we do at camp is amazing! we get to do everything and more that you would usually do at a normal summer camp. Not only are the campers great friends but the staff is amazing and are some of my great friends now. I have been going to this camp for 10 years and am also going back as a staff member now that I am to old to be a camper. I love this camp so much and I don't think i could imagine life without the Heart Connection.
My daughter, 14 months old when diagnosed with cancer has been a family member of the Heart Connection Children's Cancer Programs since the day she was diagnosed. This organization is a family, once a member, always a member with services that not only serve my daughter, but also her siblings and other family members. Camp is someting that she looks forward to every year, along with the many activities that are offered throughout the year involving families and friends that can only understnad you. I can't say enough, The Heart Connection is there any time when needed for support, advice and just plain fun and is definitly a part of our extended family.
My daughter was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago and Heart Connection has played a big role in our lives throughout her treatment and even after including them helping with Club HOPE, Camp, beads for bravery the list could go on and on. They make lives for families who have children with cancer to much better and they make sure to include siblings as well. They truly care about the kids and the families.
I've gone to the Heart Connection for 11 years now and it is truly a part of me. It makes me who I am and helps numerous kids, like me, deal with cancer and make the truest of friends they could ever even imagine having. Even the people on staff are friendly, nice, loving, hugable people. (and who doesn't love hugs?) I LOVE THE HEART CONNECTION =]]
I had always heard about the Heart Connection growing up, but I really didn't know much about it until my own son was diagnosed with brain cancer. The Heart Connection stepped in and forever became a part of our lives. From all the fun activities, camps, beads for bravery, Club HOPE...the list goes on! The volunteers that dedicate their time are truly amazing! This organization truly cares about the kids and their families!
The Heart Connection Camp is a place that is impossible to describe its meaning and magnitude. The organization works so hard all year long to touch hundreds of children's and families' lives in and out of Iowa. I've attended the Oncology Camp since I was five and have been there for 14 summers, and I am still in awe of the experiences I've had. It's a week where kids with any type of cancer, regardless of the stage of their treatment, can go and be kids. They don't have to worry about being gawked at because they have no hair or they have only one leg. These kids get to have a week all to them, and just be a normal kid. The staff works incredibly hard to get every kid to participate in everything possible. I've seen a girl in a wheelchair do the zipline, and kids with prosthetic legs ride a horse. These kids can choose to ignore the fact that they have cancer, or they can bond with those around them who know what's going on. I've seen a group of young girls talk about their ports and what they named them. It's an incredible week, that for many of these kids, is one of the best weeks out of their year. It's a loving atmosphere where kids can talk with others who can truly say "I understand."