About Children's Cancer Connection

OUR MISSION: Connecting families affected by childhood cancer by providing opportunities that encourage relationships and strengthen community.

Children’s Cancer Connection is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting families in Iowa that have been impacted by a pediatric cancer diagnosis. We do this through:

chats at camp

Our History

In the early 1980s, the idea of a summer camp for kids with cancer was just beginning to take shape. A handful of these camps began to pop up. The belief that children who were battling childhood cancer needed a “normal” childhood camp experience drove the camp movement.

In Iowa, Amanda the Panda was just forming, and they took on a camp, Camp A Panda, for kids diagnosed with cancer in Iowa. After two years, they had a calling to focus more on grieving children and families. Cancer Camp was going to end. Former Amanda the Panda employee Adele “Delli” Lampe decided that the magic of camp needed to live on!

In 1987, the “loosely organized” group, led by Delli Lampe, held the first camp under a new flag. In 1988, The Heart Connection was organized and filed articles of incorporation. That year, Iowa’s first sibling camp was offered. As a matter of fact, it was one of the very first of its kind in the nation, right here in Iowa! Delli Lampe was the founder and the first Executive Director.

The Heart Connection logo was drawn by Danny Cornish as a gift to Deli. He stated that it demonstrated the joy that his family and friends brought him during his own cancer treatment. The story behind the name goes something like this: “whether we are sick or healthy, doctor or patient, we are all connected by the heart.” In the first few years of the organization, the programs were loosely organized but camps were the focus.

In May 2010, paperwork was filed for The Heart Connection to be renamed as Children’s Cancer Connection. The name changed to more clearly express the mission, but the organization preserved the elements of the logo and the main focus of the entire family, the entire journey.