Letter from the President
Giving Hope … Making Miracles is the guiding vision of the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA). COTA is the premier organization providing fundraising assistance to families facing a life-saving transplant. Since 1986, transplant families nationwide -- representing every ethnic, economic, religious and social background -- have worked with COTA.
COTA's story began in July 1985 when COTA's first patient, a toddler from Bloomington, Indiana, was diagnosed with biliary atresia. The child's parents were told their son needed a liver transplant to survive. Adding to this time of emotional crisis was the child’s exclusion from the organ waiting list due to the family’s lack of insurance coverage. Their insurance carrier did not cover transplant costs and the family had no idea how to 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 contributions. 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 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 transplant disease diagnosis. COTA guides the transplant family and their volunteers through every necessary fundraising step, including organizing and training the community campaign committee; planning successful events and activities; working with the media; and finding multiple sources of funding.
COTA's services are completely free of charge, and the funds generated by COTA community campaigns are available for almost any transplant-related expense. Please get involved with COTA today. Make a contribution. Volunteer to help a transplant-needy child in your community. Talk about the critical shortage of organ and tissue donors with your friends and family members. Help give hope … and make miracles. Please feel free to call 800.366.2682 or click now to Request Information about COTA. We look forward to hearing from you.
Rick Lofgren, President