About Us

The Organization for Understanding Congenital Hearts

Our Mission Statement

The mission of T.O.U.C.H. is to empower families, children and adults with congenital heart defects. We believe that through emotional support, education, information sharing and public awareness, we can make a difference.

Our History

Originally called The Organization for Understanding Children's Hearts, T.O.U.C.H., has been serving Central Illinois for more than 30 years. The group was created by Nurse Gail Eaton, now retired, as a support group for the heart families she worked with everyday as they received care at OSF Saint Francis Children's Hospital of Illinois. In 2014, the organization officially underwent a name change to The Organization for Understanding Congenital Hearts in order to better encompass the adolescent and adult CHD patients in care at the Congenital Heart Center. Under Gail's leadership, T.O.U.C.H. has grown to include thousands of members who anticipate annual events like the picnic or the baseball game at the Peoria Chiefs. In recent years, we have added a symposium held at Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center and the Heart of Illinois Congenital Heart Defect Walk.

At this time, we are trying to construct a more complete timeline of events to share with our members. If you have pictures from older events, such as our annual picnic, please forward your stories to us at touchhearts365@gmail.com. With your permission, we will share your pictures and memories on this page and on our other social media sites. Thank you!

Meet Our Board

Feel free to e-mail one of the board members if you have a question or would like to volunteer for one of the committees. Contact us at touchhearts365@gmail.com Please put the name of the board member you wish to contact in the subject line.

Becky Todd


Executive Director

Megan's Lodge Committee Chair

HOI CHD Walk Committtee


Stephanie Anderson

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Scholarship Committee Chair

Outreach Committee

Connection Committee

Rendi Ray



Outreach Committee Chair

Connection Committee

HOI CHD Walk Committee

Kristen Anderson


T.O.U.C.H. Picnic Committee



Rick Farnan


HOI CHD Walk Committee Chair



Erica Wright



Finance Committee Chair

Scholarship Committee



Tracy Bond

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T.O.U.C.H. Picnic Committee

Scholarship Committee


Our board is made up of adult CHD patients, parents or guardians of patients, and employees of the Congenital Heart Center at OSF.

*The Outreach Committee is in charge of TOUCH Merchandise, the Chiefs Game, Symposium, PICU events, community events

**The Connection Committee is in charge of the TOUCH newsletter, social media, website, and peer-to-peer support


If you have an interest in serving TOUCH by joining the Board of Directors, please fill out the TOUCH application provided. Applications will be kept on file for use when a seat on the board becomes available.

Please remit application to :


P.O. Box 5578

Peoria, IL 61601-5578

Megan's Lodge


Vacation Near Home

Megan's Lodge is a cabin located in Wildlife Prairie Park near Peoria, IL. It is only 20 minutes from OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and the Children's Hospital of Illinois. The lodge sleeps 8 and is completely furnished. You need to provide your own towels, sheets and food.


Make a Reservation

The cost for a heart family to stay at Megan's Lodge is $200 per stay, for up to 3 days. This fee includes a one year membership to Wildlife Prairie Park. Please call Kristen with any questions at (309)655-3419. All reservations are made through the following link:

Megan's Lodge

Thank You

Special shout-out to Frank Hansen and Jason Maxton for reinforcing, power washing, and sealing the stairs and deck at the cabin. We appreciate it!


A Memorial

The lodge was opened May 21, 2006 in memory of Megan Fawver. Born with a complex congenital heart defect, Megan had several surgeries, including a heart transplant. She, along with many others, donated the funds to make this lodge a reality. Thank you to all who contributed to this building for our heart heroes to enjoy!

The Stella Wilson Memorial Scholarship

Stella Wilson Memorial Scholarship

The Wilson family memorializes Stella every year with the presentation of a $500 scholarship to a T.O.U.C.H. college student.

The application and eligibility requirements for the 2022 scholarship are now open. Click the link below for more information.

SWMS Application