Pediatric Cardiologist When Dr. Josephine Isabel-Jones completed her residency at UCLA in 1969, she became the first board-certified African-American woman in pediatric cardiology in the United States. Yet, her legacy had only just begun. Her incredible life and career grew from activist roots in Memphis at an early age. She was encouraged to “dare to do things differently” by parents who were themselves groundbreakers in the segregated South. “Dr. Jo” went on to dedicate decades of service in the catheterization and echocardiography labs at UCLA, provided her expertise to underserved cardiac clinics and patients in South Los Angeles, and volunteered for international medical missions. She also served as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where she worked tirelessly to develop a more diverse medical school and equitable admissions process. We are lucky to know Dr. Jo as a Camp del Corazon doctor and friend. She has been a mentor to many cardiologists who followed in her prestigious footsteps, and countless children owe their health and Camp experience to her. Her example will continue to inspire many generations of young men and women. Camp del Corazon is delighted to honor Dr. Josephine Isabel-Jones, a truly historical figure, activist, and renowned pediatric cardiologist.
Chris & Cindy Waller
GymJam Foundation At the age of 15, at a routine checkup, Chris was told he needed open heart surgery. Against all odds, Chris went on to compete in the 1992 Olympic Games in gymnastics. Over the next two decades, even though Chris’ heart disease would require 3 additional heart surgeries, he coached the UCLA Gymnastics team to 4 NCAA championships, coached an Olympic silver medalist, and with his wife, Cindy, founded the gymnastics school, Wallers’ GymJam Academy. Cindy Waller has been involved in gymnastics since 1978 as a competitive athlete, coach, motivator, and camp and club Owner/Director. In addition, as the Event Director for Chris Waller’s Heart of a Champion Invitational since 2007, Cindy helped build this annual gymnastics competition into one of the nation’s premier competitions, hosting thousands of athletes from across the country. Proceeds from the Heart of a Champion competition are donated to Camp del Corazon. Together, the Wallers have visited Camp del Corazon and our Happy Heart Festival to share their inspiring story with our campers and staff. The GymJam Foundation and the Wallers have donated a combined total of more than $65,000 to Camp del Corazon. We are thrilled to honor their incredible work with young athletes and the difference they’ve made in the lives of Camp del Corazon families.