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

Heart Heroes Youth Group - Enigma Escape Rooms
Saturday, March 18th, 12:30 ~ 3:00PM
Enigma Escape Rooms, Unit 4-980 Lorimer Blvd

We're holding an escape room event at Enigma Escape Rooms for the Heart Heroes Youth Group. And it's free!

This is an event for cardiac youth ages 12-17.

See the attached poster for more details.

Please be sure to RSVP by Thursday, March 16th at or calling/texting 204-688-0418.


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

Bud, Spud and Steak Annual Fundraiser
Saturday, February 4th, 5:00 ~ 8:00PM
Tijuana Yacht Club, Polo Park CanadInn

Happy New Year greetings to our fellow COH families!!

Please note, on Saturday, February 4th, the Circle of Hearts will be hosting its annual Bud, Spud and Steak fundraiser at Tijuana Yacht Club, Polo Park CanadInn, from 5:00-8:00pm. While raising funds towards our children's charity, this is also in celebration of Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Day/Week. Please see attached poster for more details and feel free to forward on to friends and family.

Children/youth are welcome to attend, as it is always a pleasure to have our heart heroes join us!

This year, there are two different priced Event/Dinner Tickets available:

  • $20 Ticket for Chicken Dinner
  • $25 Ticket for Steak Dinner

Dinner ticket costs remain the same for all ages.

To mix things up a bit, we are trying something new... Instead of the usual Silent Auction prizes to be won, we will be having 16 closed-envelope cash prize draws, varying from $50-$200 per envelope! Now who doesn't love to win MONEY?? 😃 There will also be a 50/50 Draw, Door Prizes, and amazing Grand Prizes, which include Round Trip Flights for 2 to Churchill and a 55" TV!

Tickets are now available and can be purchased by emailing us at; by calling our COH Treasurer, Gil, at 204-918-5308, OR by messaging us on our Facebook group page. Payment can be made via cash, cheque or e-transfer.

If you are not able to attend but would like to support our fundraising event, Support Tickets are available for $10 each. You can also donate online through PayPal at the Ways to Give page.

Thank you and we hope to see you February 4th!!

Board of Directors
Circle of Hearts Family Support Network

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

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!! 🎉

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!

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