Sample Image

Our Story

The Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) helps children and young adults like Alex who need a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support. COTA is the nation’s only fundraising organization solely dedicated to raising life-saving dollars in honor of transplant-needy children and young adults. 100% of each contribution made to COTA in honor of Alex T. helps meet transplant-related expenses. COTA’s services are free to Alex and his family, and gifts to COTA are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Alex is 14, has Autism, Epilepsy, a Connective Tissue Disorder, and was diagnosed with Chronic Pancreatitis in April of 2017. Since then he has not been able to attend school, and has been hospitalized monthly (sometimes months long) with reoccurring bouts of debilitating Pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is extremely rare in children, so treatment and hospitalization has been at Cincinnati Children's Hospital which is not only one of the top...

Updates

 

Do it Right!

Persevere and overcome. Even when the obstacle seems overwhelming. Be extraordinary, a superhero. Do it like alex. Do it right. Do it with ally. Continue Reading »

Thank you Ally!!

8 Photos

Harlem Globetrotters!

12 Photos

Thank you Notre Dame Police Department!

Thank you to the University of Notre Dame Security Police Department for going the extra mile for Alex and our family tonight. Alex and his brothers attended a Harlem Globetrotters game (with Roman’s Cub Scout troop) at the Purcell Pavilion, and Continue Reading »

Do It Right!

1 Photos

Representing Cincinnati

1 Photos

Representing Cincinnati in South Bend!

Alex is still not feeling well, so his pcp sent him to our local ER just to be on the safe side. I think we might be the only patient that brings their own hospital gown, but we have to represent... Continue Reading »

In the Moment

1 Photos

Photography-In The Moment

I am taking an Intro to Photography class and have been going through some of my favorite photos I've taken over the course of the last couple of years. Of course, there are lots of Alex, and lots of Ling!This is one of my favorites though. This is Continue Reading »

On this day last year...

On this day last year Alex was on an ambulance en route to Cincinnati...so glad those days are over!!!  Continue Reading »

New Year-Update

Happy New Year! Continue Reading »

Happy New Year (the ball has dropped)!

Happy New Year!! We couldn’t have made it through last year without you all. All our love and wishes for a blessed 2019!!  Continue Reading »

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!! Continue Reading »

Last Appointment Of The Week!!

Last appointment of the week-Neurology!  Continue Reading »

Colonoscopy

4 Photos

Colonoscopy Day!

Sebastian (Alex’s younger brother) is now in recovery, and Alex just left for his procedure...(Thank you to Ryan Seacrest Studios and Cincinnati Reds for the totally awesome hospital gowns!!)#CincinnatiRedsfansforlife Continue Reading »

Admitted

Admitted and waiting on orders... Continue Reading »

Colonoscopy

Got out of work after a 12 hour shift and we are off...early morning road trip to Cincinnati for the week. Alex will be admitted at 10am this morning for cleanout-colonoscopy and endoscopy with biopsies tomorrow for Alex, endoscopy with biopsies Continue Reading »

Orthopedic Appointment

Cincinnati bound-appointment with one of the best pediatric orthopedic spine surgeons in the nation due to fractures at L5, kyphosis/lordosis (reverse scoliosis), and pectus carinatum (breastbone deformity). Unfortunately Alex has also been having Continue Reading »

Pain Is Real!

I never realized how much this was affecting Alex until lately (since after surgery and not being in constant excruciating pain). He actually told me last week that he used to pray that he would just die to not be in pain anymore... Continue Reading »

9 Month Mixed Meal Test

Busy but good day for the Trancoso/Garza boys...Alex saw all specialties, had comprehensive blood work done, his 9 month mixed meal test to check islet cell function, his annual flu shot, and will be having a colonoscopy in two weeks. Sebby, his Continue Reading »

Memories

It’s an overwhelming emotion having these memories pop up from one year ago... Continue Reading »

9 month check-up

9 month check-up with all specialties, which means testing-which means iv catheter...Alex just got some feel-good meds and is marinating... Continue Reading »

Checked In

All checked in!  Continue Reading »

Cincinnati bound

Cincinnati bound...(Special thanks to Jordan Garza, Millie Merced, Guillermo Trancoso, Fabian Garza, our Team Alex community, and our COTA family for all of your support. It is because of all of you that we are able to continue to make these Continue Reading »

EDS Diagnosis

Alex and I were blessed and had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Bradley Tinkle yesterday. He is an absolutely amazing doctor, and we were able to finally confirm and obtain his EDS diagnosis (Sebby was diagnosed last year). This is huge, and Continue Reading »

Thank you!!

Thank you all for your support. Always! Continue Reading »

Loyalty when you need it most...thanks Ally!

I got out of my truck this morning, and I giggled a little as I walked to my door waving good morning to my neighbor. He must seriously think I am crazy. I've got winter boots on, shorts, the same "Ling" t-shirt I've worn for the last couple of Continue Reading »

Monumental Marathon

Representing the National Pancreas Foundation at the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis...what a wonderful experience (yes, I cried several times)!  Continue Reading »

Kroger Rewards

Please don’t forget to register your Kroger card!!  Continue Reading »

Lifeline

Lifeline-You know that saying you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone? We all have been through this scenario, and probably have said that exact phrase at least once in our life, but I never thought I would apply it or experience it Continue Reading »

Islet Cell Function

Unfortunately Alex is having some issues with consistently higher than normal glucose, and is now requiring more than just periodic insulin boluses.  He is back on a continuous insulin basal rate via his pump as of last night.  We always knew this Continue Reading »

Thank you Wings Etc.!!!

Thank you again to Wings Etc. and all of the very special people that made the Play It Forward event happen. It was so much fun, and absolutely amazing to see all of you come together for COTA in honor of OUR family. It truly means the world to all Continue Reading »

Wings Etc. Play It Forward Event

23 Photos

Update/Progress

Wow!  These last two months have just flown!! Alex and our family have been very busy, but definitely in a good way!  Alex has attended many appointments with all specialties in Cincinnati and is continuing to make significant progress.  He has Continue Reading »

Prayers Needed

Upon arrival in Cincinnati for a follow-up appointment, initially Alex was difficult to awaken, couldn’t understand directions when he did wake, had an elevated glucose, staggered when he tried to walk, became extremely nauseous, and then began Continue Reading »

Update

17 Photos

Update

Just a quick Alex update...He still has his feeding tube, but only for precautionary reasons at this point. He has been eating anything and everything, has been very active with only periodic mild to moderate pain, and his insulin has been reduced Continue Reading »

From one superhero to another...

5 Photos

From one superhero to another...

From one superhero to another...Chuck Moore you are absolutely amazing, a true hero, and have a heart of gold!!! Thank you for this. It means the world to Guillermo Alex Trancoso (and me!!!)!!! #TeamFireball Continue Reading »

Dr. Elder

1 Photos

Dr. Elder

Dr. Elder-Alex’s Endocrinologist = determination and absolute definitive results. There is never a question if something is going to happen or be successful with Dr. Elder. She makes mountains move for her patients, including Alex. She is most Continue Reading »

Dr. Lin

1 Photos

Dr. Lin

What a day yesterday!!!!We got home from MI (lake ) Thursday night at 11:30pm, went to bed at 1am, woke up at 2am, and were on the road for 4 1/2 hours to see this amazing man at Cincinnati Children’s Friday morning...Dr. Tom Lin. I get emotional Continue Reading »

HOME!!

  Continue Reading »

THE CENTRAL LINE IS COMING OUT!!!!

2 Photos

CENTRAL LINE IS COMING OUT!!

The central line is about to come out... Continue Reading »

Dr. Nathan, Alex's Surgeon

Thank you Dr. Nathan-best surgeon/miracle worker EVER!!! Alex got a good report. He gets his central line out tomorrow, gets to go home after his appointment tomorrow, and will follow-up in Cincinnati again next week. Continue Reading »

Thank you Kevin and the Ryan Seacrest Studio

This is Kevin-one of the MANY very special people that have so greatly impacted our lives throughout our journey at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He is absolutely amazing, and I truly don’t know what we would have done without him and the gang Continue Reading »

Thank you Ms. Mary Beth Platen

We are counting our blessings on this special day, and I cannot leave out this amazing woman..Ms. Mary Beth, Alex’s teacher while hospitalized. She is one of those people that make you want to get out in your community and change someone’s life. Continue Reading »

Pokemon Hunting in Cincinnati

6 Photos

Good News!!

3 Photos

Good News!!

Got the good news today...we get to go home!!! Hopefully Tuesday evening, or Wednesday at the latest. This has been a very long four months (year and three months to be exact), but I am grateful beyond words for the top notch medical care Alex has Continue Reading »

New Central Line

1 Photos

New Central Line

New central line being placed under anesthesia this morning... Continue Reading »

PICC Leak

2 Photos

PICC Leak

Because if something weird and crazy is going to happen, it’s going to happen to Alex...he has a leak in his picc line (it’s a double lumen). After I unhooked him from tpn and began to flush/block the line this afternoon, I noticed a leak in the Continue Reading »

Alex Update

1 Photos

Alex Update

Alex update: Continue Reading »

Mixed Meal Tolerance Test

1 Photos

Mixed Meal Tolerance Test

Mixed Meal Tolerance Test today!!! (The test consists of drinking (or consuming via the feeding tube) a "mixed meal” such as Boost or Ensure that contains protein, carbohydrates, and fat. The goal of the test is to measure how well the islet cells Continue Reading »

New formula-progress!!

1 Photos

New formula-progress!

We have had two days of outpatient appointments with Pain, GI, and Surgery-and we’re making progress!! Alex has been on a new hypoallergenic formula at a lower rate, tpn, and we’re almost completely weaned off opioids!! One day at a time!!! Continue Reading »

Incredibles!!

1 Photos

Discharge=Incredibles!!

Alex got discharged to Ronald McDonald House yesterday (on tpn). Incredibles today it is!!! Continue Reading »

Michael Lorenzen

1 Photos

Michael Lorenzen

Thank you Michael Lorenzen for taking time out of your day today to spend with my boys. It meant the world to them, and you are truly a stand-up guy. You have made some true fans out of me and my boys!!! #notallheroeswearcapes Continue Reading »

Gabe's Graduation

4 Photos

Gabe's Graduation

I was able to attend my oldest son Gabriel’s high school graduation open house Saturday (in South Bend), and it was so wonderful to be home and spend time with family and friends. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people that made Continue Reading »

Procedure

1 Photos

Procedure

Alex just got taken into the OR for an upper endoscopy, biopsies, and pyloric Botox injections. The team is concerned about a partial bowel obstruction; however, are proceeding with conservative treatment at this point with the hopes that the Botox Continue Reading »

Botox Injections

1 Photos

Botox Injections

The procedure went really well, and tpn has been started. Now all we can do is wait. Thank you all for your messages, prayers, and well-wishes. I am so very hopeful. My father flew in from Florida Wednesday in hopes that I would be able to attend my Continue Reading »

Hospitalization

1 Photos

Hospitalization

Alex was admitted again this afternoon. He will be starting tpn (nutrition via his central line vs. formula in his feeding tube) in hopes of getting him back on his feet again. We are bummed that we will not be making it to Gabey’s graduation, but Continue Reading »

Miserable

1 Photos

Miserable

This is what Alex looks like tonight. My heart breaks for him. I am hoping he will start tpn tomorrow. Continue Reading »

Weight Loss, Fatigue, and Nausea

1 Photos

Weight Loss, Fatigue, and Nausea

Update on Alex-He thoroughly enjoyed time with family this weekend; however, has had some consistent episodes of pain, nausea, vomiting, and extreme fatigue. He is not drinking anymore, and has no interest even in popsicles. He had abnormal X-rays Continue Reading »

Surprise Visits

2 Photos

Surprise Visits

Alex got discharged from the hospital yesterday!! He got a surprise weekend visit from his dad, brothers, and Grandma Rose! ??Today we are at our favorite Cincinnati movie theater watching the very much awaited Deadpool 2. Hopefully, depending on Continue Reading »

Progress...

1 Photos

Progress...

Update on Alex-He is definitely making some progress since his last surgery, but is still having similar issues. He is painful, but not in debilitating pain. He’s still nauseous, but not constantly bucket-hugging. He’s not as active as I was Continue Reading »

Flowers

1 Photos

Flowers

I came back to Alex’s hospital room after taking a break at the Ronald McDonald House, and I had a very special surprise at my desk... thank you whoever sent these. This was so very much needed and appreciated. Continue Reading »

Abdominal Distension

1 Photos

Abdominal Distension

Alex woke up today with abdominal distension, extreme pain, and nausea. Feeds have been stopped, he will be having an X-ray to evaluate bowel patterns, and total parenteral nutrition (feeding intravenously) will be started.One day at a time!! Continue Reading »

Bengals Visited Today

1 Photos

Bengals Visited Today

Bengals visited today!! Continue Reading »

Progress!!

We are making progress!! Alex is out of ICU and back on the endocrine floor. He has already walked the unit with his Physical Therapist and is currently sitting in a chair. We are waiting on the bowels to get active to begin nutrition, but we are Continue Reading »

My Super Hero!!

Alex’s fever finally came down last night and they’ve been able to manage his pain so much better today. Alex has most definitely maintained his super hero status!!! Continue Reading »

Post-Op

Alex is stable. We are just having a very difficult time managing his pain, so today has been very rough. We will get there. Continue Reading »

ICU

Alex is out of surgery and in icu. There was a large amount of scarring (all over). The closed loop obstruction in the small bowel was released, and no resection was needed (which is fabulous news). He will be in icu for the next couple of days, and Continue Reading »

Emergency Surgery

They are taking Alex for emergency surgery for what appears to be a closed loop small bowel obstruction. Dr. Nathan will be operating. Continue Reading »

Severe Pain

I have not seen Alex in this much pain in a very very long time. He’s maxed out his dose of Phenergan, is still vomiting, and has maxed out on Dilaudid. They’re sending him in for X-rays... Continue Reading »

Hospitalization

Vomiting and severe pain started at 5am... Continue Reading »

Go Reds!

Alex is loving his very first MLB game!!! Continue Reading »

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday!! We are trying the reliefband today!! Alex has a very special weekend with friends visiting from out-of-town, and attending the Cubs/Reds game tonight. Botox procedure is scheduled for Friday. Have a great weekend everyone, we plan Continue Reading »

Haircut!!

I finally talked Alex into getting a haircut!! We loved the shop and the barber, Onyx. It’s in my favorite part of Cincinnati, and a stylist there is able to do the Michael B Jordan locs that Alex has been wanting for forever and a day (thus the Continue Reading »

Back to vomiting...

Unfortunately Alex spent 5am-9am vomiting... Continue Reading »

Reliefband

Unfortunately Alex had a very rough night last night and woke up the same this morning-nauseous and very painful. We then of course had a very long but interesting day of appointments. Dr. Lin is thinking the gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying) Continue Reading »

Go Bengals!!

Thank you Giovani Bernard for coming to visit!! Continue Reading »

Mother's Day!

What a blessing today was!! I woke up to flowers, balloons, cards, and breakfast from Fabian and the boys. The hospital surprised all of the mothers with a Kendra Scott gift bag (generously donated by Kendra Scott), and the Ronald McDonald House Continue Reading »

Great Day!

Today is a great day for a good day!! Continue Reading »

Music Therapy!!

Music Therapy!!!! We love our Music Therapist Nate who is not only so very talented, but will always put a smile on your face... Continue Reading »

Good Morning!

I just love these two...good morning, with love from Alex and Ling! Continue Reading »

Cowboy Ling

It’s a cowboy Ling type of day... Continue Reading »

Hospital Admission

Alex was admitted last night due to elevated platelets and inflammatory pockets in the intestines (found on X-ray). He was absolutely miserable yesterday with abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. They stopped his feeds completely to give his Continue Reading »

At the ER...

At the ER...pain to PICC line insertion area and continued vomiting... Continue Reading »

Back to bucket-hugging...

Same scenario as yesterday...great day that suddenly leads into vomiting, pain, and bucket-hugging... Continue Reading »

Great Selfie Alex!!

I found this picture on Alex’s phone the other day, and I just love it!!! Continue Reading »

Nurses Week 2018

Thank you to all of our amazing nurses. We couldn’t do this without you and you all are amazing!! Continue Reading »

Possibly overdid it today...

Not sure if we overdid it today, but we’re back to vomiting... ???? Continue Reading »

Busy day of appointments...

Busy day today with 4 appointments!! It started off not so great with a horrible bout of nausea and vomiting first thing this morning, but by late afternoon Alex is feeling so much better. I think it’s because of the Ling snuggles. What do you Continue Reading »

Care Package

Thank you to the Foundation for Childhood Pancreatitis!!! Alex absolutely loves his care package!!! It brought a much needed smile to both of our faces!!! Continue Reading »

Family Trip to the Zoo!

9 Photos

Friends, Family, and Love...

3 Photos

Family, Friends, and so much Love!!!

I am so blessed!!  Gabe (my oldest) came to visit today.  He is only staying one night, but it means the world to me to have him here.  I have all four of my boys together again, and it is precious!!! Continue Reading »

Go Reds!!

3 Photos

Black Panther at the Dog Park!!

3 Photos

Today is ending in the dog park with the Black Panther!!

This morning started out rough, but the day is ending in the dog park with Ling, brothers, and Black Panther... Continue Reading »

There is nothing like family...and Batman!!!

1 Photos

There is nothing like family...and Batman!!

There is nothing like family (and Batman, definitely nothing like Batman)!! Continue Reading »

Music Therapy!!

Alex went for a walk with his physical therapist and while he was gone I turned on his tv in the room (at the hospital), and this is what I see...I love this hospital!!!!! Continue Reading »

Cuddle Moment With Ling

1 Photos

Correlation with nausea and feeds

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and well-wishes. There is a definitive correlation relative to Alex’s gj feeds/rate and nausea/vomiting/pain. This is a symptom that is common for post-TPIAT patients; however, is also something that can Continue Reading »

Extreme Nausea Again

1 Photos

Bucket-Hugging Nausea Again

We are back to extreme nausea and vomiting today...X-rays shortly. Prayers please. Continue Reading »

IJ Line Pulled Today!!!

1 Photos

IJ Line Pulled Today!!

IJ line was pulled today!!One central line out, one more to go!! Continue Reading »

Spidey getting infused with vibranium???

2 Photos

Off feeds he's Spiderman/Black Panther...

Boy Alex sure does have his ups and downs with "normal" post TPIAT nausea and what I now refer to as "bucket-hugging nausea", and I am really seeing a correlation with his feeds/window (period off of feeds). Continue Reading »

Powered By Vibranium

3 Photos

Powered By Vibranium

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers-the superhero is back!! Thank you Aunt Jenni Bruens Crowley, Uncle Mark, Mikayla and Maleah because this superhero is seriously ultra powered with vibranium!! Continue Reading »

GI Issues-Prayers Please

1 Photos

Possible Virus/GI Issues

Please keep Alex in your prayers. He’s been lethargic and vomiting since yesterday, has consistently elevated glucose, a distended abdomen, and is in a significant amount of pain. Thank you. Continue Reading »

The Dynamic Duo-reunited!!

4 Photos

Ling gets to come back!!

Alex received permission today from Dr. Nathan to have his service dog Ling back!!!  Yay!!  We are so excited!!! Continue Reading »

Out of ICU!!!

1 Photos

Out of ICU!!

Big day today-Alex is out of the ICU!!!  He is now on the Endocrine (diabetes) floor.  His drains were pulled, his Freestyle Libre continuous glucose monitor is on and functioning, his insulin pump has been applied, and he is even doing his blood Continue Reading »

ICU

10 Photos

Walking for the first time!!

Alex walked for the first time today during physical therapy!!!  I am truly amazed!! Continue Reading »

Ryan Seacrest Studio

Alex received a telephone call from Ryan Seacrest today!!!!!  (What an amazing guy!!) Continue Reading »

Talking to Ryan Seacrest

1 Photos

Happy Easter!!

Alex is sitting in a chair again today, and blowing bubbles. He's in excruciating pain, but is fighting through it like a true superhero and has remained in the best of spirits (always says please and thank you, and is even trying to apologize to Continue Reading »

Post TPIAT-Days 1-3

13 Photos

Ling!!

3 Photos

Pre-surgical Love

7 Photos

Day 2 post-op

10:43 am Continue Reading »

Day after surgery

7:55 am Continue Reading »

Surgery Day

6:15 am Continue Reading »

PICC Line today!

1 Photos

Hospitalized until surgery date...

It was decided this morning by Alex's medical team that he will remain hospitalized until his TPIAT surgery on March 29th.  He is still very painful and nauseous, and not able to tolerate formula via his nj tube at this point.  He will be having a Continue Reading »

Strong Like Vibranium

5 Photos

Endoscopy

3 Photos

Pre Surgical Scare

TPIAT surgery is scheduled for March 29th.  We had a little hiccup/scare last week.  Alex had a recheck with the transplant surgeon and GI specialist Thursday and began having excruciating pain, nausea, and finally vomiting while in the waiting Continue Reading »

My Superhero Alex

19 Photos

First MLB Game-Go Reds!!

8 Photos

Happy Sunday!!

22 Photos

May the 4th be with you!

1 Photos

Happy Cinco De Mayo!!

8 Photos

Busy Day of Appointments

8 Photos

Ling says “Go Reds”! ????

4 Photos

Morning Meds and New Insulin Pump

2 Photos

Thank you Shana, Mike, and Abby!!

1 Photos