Hearts of Gold gives opportunities for youth ages 13 to 19 to meet, learn, and have fun with other youth who have experienced growing up with heart disease.

There are two Hearts of Gold groups, one in the Lower Mainland and one in Victoria. Emily Deimling is our Hearts of Gold coordinator for the Lower Mainland, and Megan Madsen is our Hearts of Gold coordinator for Vancouver Island. They plan and supervise all events and help youth who are new to the group connect with new friends and become comfortable to ensure everyone has a great time.

If your child is between the ages of 13 and 19, contact us for more information and to add your name to our email list to receive information about monthly events.

I have some great friends, and they really support me. But it’s different to have a friend who really knows what it’s like to grow up with a heart like mine. You don’t have to explain anything…they just know.
—Hearts of Gold member

Fun Events

Some of the things Hearts of Gold have done recently include:

  • Going to the Extreme Air indoor trampoline park
  • Going kayaking
  • Going to the beach
  • Going bowling
  • Going to WildPlay Element Park
  • Spending an afternoon at circus school
  • Going skating at Robson Square
  • Spending an evening on a Christmas carol ship
  • Touring Electronic Arts
  • Attending Canucks and BC Lions games
  • Eating dinner out together
  • Going to theatre sports on Granville Island
  • Going to Playland
  • Spending a long weekend at summer camp

Educational Opportunities for Youth

Hearts of Gold youth also have opportunities to attend workshops on CPR and transitioning from pediatric to adult care.

Our biannual conference has a special education stream just for youth.

Volunteer Opportunities for Your Résumé

Hearts of Gold youth also have many opportunities to volunteer and build their résumé. These include:

  • Being a speaker for an education session or a conference presenter. Work with a team of youth to help educate hospital staff and parents about heart disease.
  • Being a peer helper. Link with other youth or younger kids who are preparing for surgery or who want to talk with experienced youth who have been there.
  • Becoming an email or Facebook friend to someone in BC who is stuck at home after surgery or someone who is unable to attend school because of their heart problem.
  • Attending conferences for very reduced fees. You may even meet a professional athlete or inspirational speaker.
  • Getting linked with educational or career opportunities, some of them free!