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A foundation helping kids with life-threatening medical challenges

Mission Statement

The Tori's Angels Foundation brings people together to provide and receive life-changing help.  The foundation provides opportunities for community members across Central Iowa and beyond to make a difference in the lives of infants, children, and adolescents with life-threatening challenges. We reach out to the community both near and far to gain the needed funds to distribute

to families who need real-life angels to help them through one or more crises.


Creation of the Foundation

Tori’s Angels Foundation raises funds to support the families of children accepted for assistance who have life-threatening medical conditions.  The idea of Tori’s Angels Foundation began in July 2010 with a community breakfast fundraiser, hosted by the Panora United Methodist Church, to assist with the medical expenses of then-five-year-old Tori Heckman of Panora, Iowa, who has had multiple heart surgeries since birth.  The fundraiser was so successful that the idea of a foundation to help other children with life-threatening medical conditions was born.  Tori’s Angels Foundation, a non-profit under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, was created in June 2011 and was named for the community “angels” who generously supported Tori. 

The foundation pays for medical expenses not covered by insurance, including: travel expenses to treatment (airfare or mileage, hotels, meals), co-pays, deductibles, and prescription medicine that is approved by insurance for use in Iowa for the diagnosed, life-threatening condition.  Other expenses may be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Each sponsored child is supported from the date of acceptance until his/her 19th birthday. 

Tori had her life-saving surgery in early 2011 at Boston Children’s Hospital.  She has had subsequent procedures and checkups and will be monitored closely for years to come.  Tori’s grandmother has repeatedly expressed her thanks for the foundation’s help: “If it wasn’t for the foundation paying for the travel expenses for Tori and her parents to go to Boston for 3 weeks, we wouldn’t have Tori with us today. The family just couldn’t pay for all that expense.”  

After a checkup in 2013, Tori's mom asked Tori if she realized that her doctor and the hospital had saved her life, and Tori said “yes.” When asked how she felt before going to Boston, Tori said, "I felt like garbage."  When asked how she feels now, Tori replied, "I feel like a butterfly!”   

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