Can you imagine the fear, anger, confusion, and pure shock of having your child diagnosed with cancer? Children’s Cancer Connection exists to provide support, education, and recreation for the entire family throughout the entire journey. Many great organizations are working to find cures for the more than 13,500 children diagnosed each year in the United States. Children’s Cancer Connection strives to provide the care of a cancer diagnosis.
Cancer Doesnt Care......but WE Do!
Children’s Cancer Connection is a nonprofit based in Des Moines, Iowa helping all pediatric patients and their families who may be diagnosed, treated, or lives in Iowa. We support the entire family, the entire journey through programs and services which are provided at little cost or free for families. We offer support groups for parents, siblings, teens and young adults, oncology and sibling summer camps, survivorship services, scholarships, and various resource and education materials. This is made possible thanks to many caring people providing funding and volunteer support. Annually, Children’s Cancer Connection uses more than 35,000 volunteer hours to provide our programs and services. Donations to help kids with cancer and their families are received from many sources. Children’s Cancer Connection hosts fundraising efforts like the Flapjack 5k / 10k run and Camping the Night Away. We sell Christmas and Holiday Cards drawn by the children we serve. We receive donations from individuals, clubs and corporations. We are supported by grants from foundations. Fund Raising by Friends is one of our best resources – individuals and companies host fundraising events from bake sales to volleyball tournaments, and from golf outings to garage sales and they choose Children’s Cancer Connection to benefit from their charity event. They are partners in our effort to bring comfort to families affected by pediatric cancer.
We invite you to explore our site and learn more about how you can be part of our effort to support Children’s Cancer Connection.
The Entire Family....The Entire Journey
Children's Cancer Connection FAQ
Q: How are the children and families referred to your programs?
All of our children are either living in, being treated in, or were diagnosed within the state of Iowa. Our two primary referring facilities are Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines and University of Iowa Children’s Hospital in Iowa City. However, many of our children are also referred to us through friends and families already engaged in our organization. We currently serve over 500 children and their families from throughout the state.
Q: How are your programs funded?
We are a statewide 501(c)3 organization with our physical offices located in Des Moines, IA and Coralville, IA. We do not have any national affiliations and do not receive any federal or state money, nor are we a United Way agency. We rely on contributions of corporations, foundations and individuals to support our programs and services. Individuals may donate money through their employer charitable giving program by recognizing Children’s Cancer Connection as a “donor choice.” We also host various special events throughout the year to assist in our fundraising. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of an event, please contact Executive Director, Mark Slocum Mark@ChildrensCancerConnection.org
for more information.
Q: Where is your camp located?
We currently utilize the Y-Camp in Boone, Iowa. This facility provides a premier venue for our kids to have the full camping experience – hiking, swimming, horseback riding, climbing wall and archery, just to name a few.
Q: What is the significance of Camp Heart Connection’s rainbow logo?
According to John Cornish, who lost his little brother in 1987, “Cancer doesn’t just hurt the person with the disease, it hurts the whole family.” His little brother, Danny, was five years old when he lost his battle with the disease. Before he died, he painted a picture of a bright rainbow surrounded by sunlight with a heart at its center. He told everyone that it was “for all his family and friends who brought sunshine, rainbows and love to him during his illness.” To this day, Danny’s colorful design signifies the philosophy of Camp Heart Connection and is proudly displayed as the camp’s logo.
Q: What are the main programs that you provide?
Children’s Cancer Connection provides all types of programs, but they can be broken into a few “arms.” The Hospital-Based Programs
arm provides Family Resource Kits to newly diagnosed families to serve as their road map through their treatment process. Beads 4 Bravery is a program that allows children to track their journey in a tangible and visual way and provides them colorful beads representing each step of their treatment. We also send volunteers to the hospital clinic to provide arts and crafts for families as they are going through out patient procedures. End of Treatment celebrations are a special way to thank the medical team and celebrate with friends and families the major milestone of finishing a treatment. The Support Services & Family Outings
arm allows for families to interact with one another in both structured and unstructured settings. Outings to sporting events, amusement parks and seasonal activities encourage families to engage on a recreational level, while support groups for recently diagnosed families, grief groups and teen groups are more specific support avenues. The Camps and Retreats
arm is designed for the individual with cancer, the siblings of a child with cancer and a separate family camp for the whole family at Camp Heart Connection. Additionally, the Survivorship Services
arm provides support to young adult survivors of childhood cancer.