The Circle of Hearts Newsletter has returned!

Check out the Fall 2016 issue by clicking here...

Welcome to the Circle of Hearts Family Support Network

Finding out your child has congenital or acquired heart disease is extremely stressful. A new diagnosis brings many questions and feelings of uncertainty. You are not alone. The Circle of Hearts Family Support Network is a non-profit children's charity made up of parents and caregivers who have children with congenital or acquired heart defects. The Circle of Hearts represents all pediatric heart patients and families of the Variety Children's Heart Centre, who span over Manitoba, Nunavut, parts of NW Ontario and Eastern Saskatchewan.

We believe that it is of great benefit to communicate with families who have gone through similar situations. It can help prepare your family for some of the situations and feelings all of you experience. We aim to provide emotional and educational support to those who are in need, as well as a means of networking among families whose children are affected by heart disease.

Along with providing such support to our families, the Circle of Hearts also provides fun family activities throughout the year to show our heart children that there is more to the Variety Children's Heart Centre than being a cardiac patient.

What is a congenital heart defect?

A congenital heart defect (CHD) is an anomaly of the heart that is present at birth, involving one or more portions of the heart to develop abnormally. There are many different types of congenital heart defects, and they range from simple defects such as a tiny hole that will never require treatment, to complex defects with severe, life-threatening symptoms that affect how blood and nutrients are pumped throughout the body. Some babies may be diagnosed before or at birth; some not until days, weeks, months, or even years later. Undiagnosed CHDs and childhood onset heart disease cause many cases of sudden cardiac death in young athletes.

Congenital heart defects are the world's most common type of birth defect; about one in every 100 babies are affected, representing 1% of births (Health Canada, 2002). In Canada, there are almost 100,000 adults who, as children, had surgery to correct congenital heart defects (Marelli et al, 2006). Over the past few decades, diagnosis and treatment of heart defects has improved significantly. With modern treatment, more than 90% of children survive well into adulthood.

Upcoming Events

Free Family Skate Party
Courtesy of West Kildonan Community Centre/Rink
Monday, January 2nd
2:00 ~ 4:00PM
346 Perth Avenue

A Free Family Skate Party, courtesy of the West Kildonan Community Centre!

The Circle of Hearts has the entire arena, so heart families can bring friends! Everyone must bring their own skates/helmets/stick/etc.

The arena doors will be open for us. They are in the parking lot between the splashpad and the outdoor rink - NOT the community centre doors next to the playground. Lots of parking in the parking lot.

Canteen will be OPEN (hot chocolate, coffee, the BEST popcorn, chocolates, penny candy, etc). Most canteen items are approx $1.00 - cash only.

Rink attendant will "blast the heat and crank the music!" for us 😃👍

We hope you are able to join us for this first fun family event of 2017!! 🎉

Parent-to-Parent Support Meetings: Coffee Group
2nd Thursdays of the month, 7:00 ~ 9:00PM

Open to all pediatric heart patients and families/caregivers. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and juice covered by the Circle of Hearts.

Upcoming coffee groups:

  • October 13, 2016 – Smitty's Restaurant, 1017 St. James St.
    Polo Park Area

  • November 10, 2016 – Smitty’s Restaurant, 8-2305 McPhillips St.
    Garden City Area

  • December 8, 2016 – Smitty’s Restaurant, 1512 Regent Ave.
    Transcona Area

  • January 12, 2017 – Smitty’s Restaurant, Unit A – 150 Meadowood Dr.
    S. Vital Area


Promotional Products

Push-action Ballpoint Pen (blue ink) — $2.00 each or 12 for $20 (no taxes charged)

Red and black body, with the Circle of Hearts logo in white.

Large Drawstring Knapsack — $7.00 each (no taxes charged)

17”w. x 20”h. in red with the Circle of Hearts logo in white.

16-ounce Travel Mug — $15.00 each (no taxes charged)

Double-walled stainless steel with safety lid and slide-action opening. White band with a red/blue Circle of Hearts logo.

(Click the image for full-size previews.)

To place an order, please contact Gil Meilleur at or Joni Wilson at Stock is limited and will be sold on a first come/first served basis. Payment can be made by cash or cheque.

Past Events

Breakfast with Santa!
Sunday, December 11th, from 9:00AM ~ 12:00PM

Greetings from the Circle of Hearts Board,

The Circle of Hearts Family Support Network is pleased to invite you all to our upcoming Breakfast with Santa, being held on Sunday, December 11th, from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon, at the Clarion Hotel.

There will be a pancake breakfast, live entertainment, children's crafts, free family photos taken by a professional photographer, and best of all, SANTA CLAUS!

Please RSVP by email, phone or on our Facebook page by December 1st, including the number of adults and children attending, as well as the names, ages and gender of all children, and noting who is the “heart” child.

We will again be collecting monetary donations at the door towards our annual "Pay it Forward" COH Christmas Hamper, which is given to a heart child(ren) and their family who are unfortunately in-hospital during the holiday season.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you there!

Bud Spud and Steak Fundraiser
Saturday, February 6th, 2016 from 5:00 ~ 8:00PM
Cowboys Nightclub, Windsor Park Canad Inns, 1034 Elizabeth Road

On Saturday, February 6th, from 5:00-8:00pm, the Circle of Hearts will be hosting a Bud, Spud and Steak fundraiser at Cowboys Nightclub, Windsor Park CanadInn, and also in celebration of Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Day/Week.

Children/youth are welcome again this year, as it is such a pleasure to have our heart heroes attend! No charge for children under 2 years old.

Event Tickets are $20 each.

There will be a Silent Auction, 50/50 Draw, Door Prize, and amazing Grand Prizes, which includes a "Trip for 2 Anywhere WestJet Flies" and a Via Rail trip voucher!!

We would greatly appreciate any donations towards the silent auction, should you or anyone you know be able to contribute. Please contact us for drop off/pick up information or for an official donation request letter.

If you cannot attend, support tickets are available for $10 each, or you can donate online through PayPal.

It is our only planned fundraiser for the year so please come out and help support us!