Camp helps kids with special hearts

LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – A camp for children looking to have a little fun while they overcome an uncommon medical condition for their age has made its way to Lebanon.

Twenty-two Midstate children are attending Camp Lion Heart this week. The campers all have one thing in common: they have various heart conditions.

“Their heart conditions haven’t been holding them back,” camp director Tomeka Lacy said. “Some of them have had two or three heart surgeries.”

Camp Lion Heart was founded by Jenn and Geoff Ayers with the help of Penn State Children’s Heart Group and the Children’s Miracle Network.

The couple got the idea to start a camp from their daughter Ellie, who passed away at 8 months old from dilated cardiomyopathy, a genetic mutation that resulted in congestive heart failure.

“Every day is tough without her,” Jenn Ayers said.

Their goal in creating the camp was to help kids with heart problems feel like kids again.

“It’s an honor watching Ellie’s legacy through watching these kids grow,” Jenn Ayers said.

Camp Lion Heart plans to continue for years to come. To get involved or donate, go to camplionheart-elliesheartfoundation.org.

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