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The association

Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque enables children with heart defects to undergo surgery when this is not possible in their own country, due to a lack of technical or financial resources. The children are cared for in 11 French towns and 2 Swiss towns. In France, they are cared for by volunteer host families, and in Switzerland in a specialized home.
Association Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque

Francine Leca, the founder

Première femme à devenir chirurgien cardiaque en France, le Pr Francine Leca a fondé Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque en 1996 après avoir reçu la lettre d’un papa iranien désespéré de ne pouvoir faire opérer son enfant cardiaque dans son pays.
Listen to his story
Mécénat was born in 1996 from a very simple observation: we have in our hands a "magical" power, that of being able to repair hearts and thus give a second birth to so many children. But this surgery is very expensive, and many people around the world won't have the right to it.
Professor Francine Leca
Lire la BD de Francine Leca

Our partners medical

To operate on children in France or Switzerland, we can count on the invaluable help of our medical partners.

Aviation Sans Frontières

Les convoyeurs de l'association sont indispensables pour accompagner les enfants durant leur voyage à l'aller comme au retour.

Air France Humanitaire

For more than 10 years, we have been able to rely on the expertise of Air France Humanitaire teams to help the world's children travel.

Center Pédiatrique des Côtes

When they leave hospital, children operated on in the Paris region spend a few days convalescing at the Centre Pédiatrique des Côtes.

Terre des Hommes Valais House

Children operated on in Switzerland stay with host families or in a specialized home in Massongex.

Visible Patient

Our collaboration with the start-up Visible Patient has enabled us to obtain a 3D model of the patient's cardiac anatomy.
Convoyeurs Aviation Sans Frontières

Aviation Sans Frontières

C’est grâce aux convoyeurs bénévoles de l’association Aviation Sans Frontières que nous pouvons faire venir et repartir tous les enfants que nous prenons en charge. Les enfants voyagent sans leurs parents mais les convoyeurs sont présents pour les accompagner avec beaucoup de bienveillance durant le voyage de leur vie.

À l’aller, ils accompagnent des enfants malades, confiés par leurs parents pour un voyage vers l’inconnu dans l’espoir d’une guérison. Au retour, ils ramènent des enfants guéris et assistent aux émouvantes retrouvailles avec leur famille.

Dans les deux cas, ils sont le lien précieux entre les familles au pays et les familles d’accueil, entre chaque aéroport. Tous ces allers-retours apportent leur lot de surprises et les convoyeurs sont souvent amenés à faire preuve d’ingéniosité car il n’est pas toujours évident d’accompagner un enfant malade, parfois plusieurs, avec des valises, des retards de vols…

Les convoyeurs sont d’anciens membres du personnel des compagnies aériennes et bénéficient ainsi de tarifs avantageux pour voyager. En choisissant d’être bénévoles, ils donnent de leur temps et font profiter Aviation Sans Frontières de leurs avantages préférentiels. Pour Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, la participation financière dans les convoyages est minime car c’est Aviation Sans Frontières qui organise et finance la logistique (visas, vaccins, hébergements des convoyeurs…). Un grand merci à cette association partenaire qui constitue un maillon indispensable de notre chaîne de solidarité !

Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque x Air France Humanitaire

Air France Humanitaire

Getting a child to travel alone, ill and without financial resources is a balancing act. Air France Humanitaire uses all the know-how of its teams to ensure that the children we take care of travel.

For over 10 years, Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque has benefited from the support of Air France's Mécénat Humanitaire. This has given us greater flexibility in the event of cancellations, exchanges or rescheduling of tickets when we are faced with unforeseen circumstances. This partnership has resulted in the donation of some forty humanitarian tickets for the most disadvantaged children.


You too can help children travel by donating your Miles!


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Center Pédiatrique des Côtes

Center Pédiatrique des Côtes

The Centre Pédiatrique des Côtes is a medical and rehabilitation hospital for children with heart and respiratory diseases, and has been a partner of the Association since the very beginning.

Located in the Yvelines region, it welcomes children who have undergone surgery in the Paris region, after their operation, for the duration of their convalescence. This partnership enables us to reduce hospitalization costs and guarantee children convalescence and follow-up while being surrounded by doctors and nursing staff.

The host families visit the children every day during their stay at Château des Côtes, before taking them home and completing their welcome until their departure.

Maison Terre des Hommes Valais Massongex

Terre des Hommes Valais House

We have been operating on children in Geneva and Lausanne since the end of 2022. In Switzerland, children over the age of two stay at La Maison Terre des Hommes Valais, a reassuring and comfortable home where other children and caring staff surround them. This medical center in Massongex takes great care of children from the moment they arrive ill until they leave in good health.

Children under two undergoing surgery in Switzerland are cared for by foster families, as in France.

3D modeling

Visible Patient

Through our Smart Projects program, we have worked with the start-up Visible Patient to develop 3D models of patients' hearts.


Starting with a CT scan, Visible Patient transforms the image into a perfect 3D visualization of the patient's internal anatomy. Doctors are then able to make a diagnosis, accurately predict the surgical procedure to be performed when possible, and teach by exchanging case studies with foreign doctors.

The ultimate aim is to improve the management of complex heart diseases.


To know more about it

Organization and finance

For over 25 years, our donors have trusted us to save children's hearts. It is essential for the Association to use this money wisely and to ensure the quality of care through rigorous and controlled financial management to optimize care costs as much as possible.

To know more about it

Our podcast At the heart of the action

To mark the Association's 25th anniversary, we have highlighted the commitment of the men and women who form the essential links in our great chain of solidarity.
They all played their part, in their own way, in the recovery of Noor, a 9-month-old Togolese girl who underwent heart surgery in 2020. Discover how, thanks to them, we have turned a sick heart into a healed one.

Listen to our podcast
In the heart of the action podcast

The fantastic volunteers

What would Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque be without its 400 volunteers? They are the pillars of the Association, and they are always there!

Staffing a stand, supervising an event, carrying out an inventory or sewing work, fulfilling an administrative task, making a delivery... everyone does their bit, in France or abroad, according to their availability and skills, and put together, all these actions help to save children.

Volunteers Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque