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With the cost of a transplant often exceeding $500,000, many transplant families are unable to shoulder the financial burden of such a procedure.  The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses.  In Milwaukee, volunteers are raising funds for COTA in honor of transplant patients like local baby, Ashton Romero. 

Ashton is the son of Gina and Sal Romero.  Born on August 09, 2013, Ashton was diagnosed with Pulmonary Atresia.  The doctors at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee have recommended a life-saving heart transplant.  An estimated $60,000 is being raised by Milwaukee volunteers. 

Ashton is the youngest of Gina and Sal's children. He has an older sister named Gabriella and an older brother name Cole. They love their brother and are happy that he is home with them after living in the hospital for the first 7 months.

Doctors discovered Ashton's heart condition during the first ultrasound. Gina was referred to a pediatric cardiologist for a second opinion. The pediatric cardiologist confirmed the finding and told Gina, Sal, and Sarina (Gina's sister) that this was the worst case she has seen in her 20 years of service. Gina called him Tenderheart throughout her pregnancy after the finding. Sarina asked a friend to design her idea of a "Tenderheart". The Ashton Tenderheart was created. The Ashton Tenderheart design was made and copyrighted as a symbol of Ashton's frail heart (thank you Matt Zumbo). 


  • The COTA Staff

    We are happy to be working with you!

  • Stan Joseph

    Are prayers are with you, and I have added your site to my Face Book I hope it will help!

  • brad bennett

    Ashton, i know your dad real well and work with him. Your mom as awesome as well hi gina!. also your brother and sister. you couldn't be in better hands or with a more loving family! Someday you will find out the massive amount of friends and caregivers you have been blessed with :) Stay strong little man. Love, Brad

  • Gina Czysz

    Ashton, you are a miracle. I hope when you grow up to do all the amazing things we know you will do, you can look back and know all the love and support you have. I am lucky enough to call your Uncle Eric my best friend. Your parents (Gina and Sal) are such strong and amazing people. You are lucky enough to have Sarina, Tracy and Pablo to help organize events for you and to fight for your cause. I hope you know how important you are to so many people...that for even a brief moment, you have touched so many lives, maybe even changed a few. We love you Ashton! Keep fighting tough guy!

  • Sarina sepulveda

    I love you Ashton! I love your smile, you can always make a day better. Every smiling picture makes my day and the day of so many other people. You are an inspiration. As we wait for the call from your mom, and she waits for the pager to go off letting her know a heart is waiting, we will cherish you and hope your health and attitude remain high. I hope I get that call soon, hope you find your hero, hope you can start the next part of your heart journey so you can grow to be a perfect little man. Start to walk and talk, play sports with your brother, sister, and cousins, go to school, and so much more. You have changed the way I look at life and I love you and want the best.

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