The Origins of CHAMPS – Supporting Children With CHD
Children’s Healthy-Heart Activity Monitoring Program in Saskatchewan (or CHAMPS) began as a vision from heart mom Lynne Telfer RN, who saw a need for more support for children with congenital or acquired heart disease (CHD).
Resources were limited or non-existent, so she turned to researchers at the College of Kinesiology and College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan to help turn her ideas into reality. It was her hard work and dedication along with that of Juanita Praksas, Anna Maton, the research professors at the College of Kinesiology, the Pediatric Cardiology Nurse Clinicians, and the Pediatric Cardiologists who started the camp. CHAMPS Camp was initially funded by the research grants the first couple of years.
At the first summer camp one of the heart children said to me that ‘I have never met another heart kid, I thought I was the only one.’ “That took my breath away and made me tear up. It showed the impact of just meeting another heart child had and that they didn’t have to feel they were the only ones anymore.
– Lynne Telfer, Registered Nurse & Patient Advocate
Mending Little Hearts Team
In 2015, the first CHAMPS summer day camp was held at the University of Saskatchewan. Since then, positive feedback and continued support from heart families have contributed to the success and growth of CHAMPS camp. There are two CHAMPS programs each year; our week-long summer day camp, usually the last week in July in Saskatoon, and our fall/winter program, which runs every 2-3 weeks on Saturdays in both Saskatoon and Regina.
It is the generosity of wonderful sponsors and the Mending Little Hearts Fund that make the camps run. Please contact us if you’d like to be involved.