UC Camping shows its heart

Rob Lutter, Rebecca Pearson, Daniel Murray, Jaidyn Stephenson, Phoebe Paterson. Photo by Widfotografia.

UC’s Grantville Lodge is hosting next year’s Heartkids Teen Camp, a special gathering for up to 150 teenagers living with congenital heart disease.

And the camp will now be even bigger and better thanks to a $45,000 bequest from the Harold Hughes Estate Bequest.

The generous donation equates to a 60% discount in camp costs, allowing the teens to go mountain bike riding, surfing, canoeing and many more exciting activities.

UC Camping Director Daniel Murray said he hoped the camp would be the first of many.

“UC Camping enables people regardless of age, ability, social and religious background to experience camping in an environment that is safe, nurturing and understanding,” he said.

Also at the announcement was Collingwood footballer and HeartKids ambassador Jaidyn Stephenson.

Jaidyn, 20, knows firsthand what living with congenital heart disease is like. He must take six beta blockers a day and at one stage thought his football career was over before before it began.

“There was a time where I thought I might not get drafted because of this condition and I’d dreamt of playing AFL since I was four or five,” he said.

“To be told at 18 you’ve got this heart condition and now you might not be able to live out your dream was hard to take.”

HeartKids assists 64,000 children, adolescents and adults affected by congenital heart disease to accomplish their goals and lead a fulfilling life.

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