Letter from the President
The road through a transplant is long and difficult, and rarely understood by anyone who has not had the misfortune of traveling that path. The Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) strives each day to make this journey less stressful for each of our families.
Giving Hope … Making Miracles is COTA's guiding vision. Since 1986, COTA has become the premier organization providing fundraising assistance to families facing a life-saving transplant. For more than 25 years, families from throughout the nation, representing every ethnic, economic, religious and social background, have worked with COTA.
COTA's story actually began in July 1985 when COTA's first patient, a toddler from Bloomington, Indiana, needed assistance. The child's parents were told their son had biliary atresia, and needed a liver transplant to survive. Adding to their pain was the fact that they faced exclusion from the organ waiting list due to their lack of funds as their insurance carrier did not cover transplant costs. Caring for two small children, they could not pay for such a costly surgery.
When their family, friends and community members learned of their dire situation, hundreds responded enthusiastically. School children gave their allowances and went door-to-door collecting change. Friends took coin canisters to the local county fair and asked for donations. Local political leaders interceded with insurance companies on their behalf. Within weeks, the community raised $100,000, enabling this child to be placed on the liver transplant waiting list.
What started as a drive to save the life of one child in central Indiana evolved into the Children's Organ Transplant Association.
Today, COTA exists to assist patients who require a life-saving organ, bone marrow, cord blood or stem cell transplant. COTA works with any patient who needs a transplant due to a genetic disease such as Cystic Fibrosis or Sickle Cell Anemia, and all patients 21 and under for any disease complication. COTA guides the family and their volunteers through every necessary fundraising step, including organizing and training the campaign committee; planning successful events and activities; working with the media; and finding multiple sources of funding.
Please get involved with COTA today. Make a donation. Volunteer to help a child in your community. Talk about the critical shortage of organ and tissue donors with your friends and family members. Help us give hope … and make miracles. COTA's services are completely free of charge, and the funds generated by COTA campaigns are available for almost any transplant-related expense. Please feel free to call us at 800.366.2682 or click now to Request Information about COTA. We look forward to hearing from you.
Rick Lofgren, President