Smiles all around!

The Missouri Chapter began in 2010 by dedicated volunteers whose families were impacted by a congenital heart defect (CHD). We strive to raise awareness for CHDs and join in The Children’s Heart Foundation’s goal to bring health, hope, and happiness to families impacted by congenital heart defects. We accomplish this goal by raising funds for the most promising research for congenital heart defects.

Since 1996, CHF has funded over $11.1 million of CHD research, both independently and with the American Heart Association through the CHD Research Awards.

In fact, two St. Louis doctors have been awarded grants from the Children’s Heart Foundation. Dr. Patrick Jay from the Washington University School of Medicine and Dr. Ken Schowengerdt from SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center both received grants for their cutting edge research.

In addition to holding fundraising events throughout the year, we try to interact with the local community as much as possible. We believe that the more families, businesses, and local leaders we connect with, the more supportive we can become as a collective CHD community.

To help us make those powerful connections, Joanie’s Pizzeria recently donated to us the Free Media Award sponsored by US Bank for two weeks free advertizing on WIL 92.3 and The Arch 106.5.  We were awarded 60 commercials on both stations plus a banner ad on their websites!

Aimie Booth, Jaime Seitrich, Joanie Thomas, Lori Ortbals, Sandy McCandless

Jaime Seitrich, Lori Ortbals, Joanie Thomas

See how Joanie’s Pizzeria supports CHF on Vimeo!

Words from CHF – Past MO President and Founding Board Member, Lori Ortbals:

Rebecca Lyn Ortbals was born June 26, 1976, beautiful and perfect in me and my husband’s eyes. Though she had low energy and trouble feeding, it took six weeks before she began to fail and before the doctors at St. Louis Children’s hospital discovered our precious daughter had a severe congenital heart defect. 

Becky was born without a spleen as well as two heart chambers instead of four. Also, her pulmonary vein did not run through to her lungs. A patent ductus murmur kept her alive during those first six weeks, but as soon as it started closing, the only way to save her was to operate immediately. We clung to hope that she would make it through the surgery  even though we were advised to kiss her goodbye.

Becky beat the odds and survived the surgery. We took her home  to love her each day as if it were her last. She surprised everyone, and we enjoyed her for 16 months before she died suddenly one night while her daddy placed his hand on her chest as she struggled to breathe. 

No one prepares a parent to watch helplessly as their little girl dies. I desire with every fiber of my being that never again will a parent be told to take their child home to die because there is nothing that will fix their heart. So, when I learned about The Children’s Heart Foundation in the summer of 2010, I knew I needed to do something to bring their mission to Missouri. Please join me in raising awareness and funds for the most promising congenital heart research so that my wish will come true. 

–Lori Ortbals

Contact Our Chapter

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 28447
St. Louis, MO 63146
[email protected]