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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 Germantown, TN, volunteers are raising funds for COTA in honor of transplant patients like local toddler, Elena Liriano.

Elena is the daughter of Suzanne Taylor Liriano and Leonidas Liriano. Born in 2016, Elena was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease. The doctors at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, have recommended a life-saving kidney transplant. Once Elena gets to a weight of 22 pounds, she will be eligible for a kidney transplant. Please consider contributing to COTA which supports families that are dealing with this disease and the large financial burdens of a transplant.  100% of funds raised through COTA assist with patients' transplant-related expenses.

Here is Elena's story:
Suzanne had a normal pregnancy until she discovered that Elena had polycystic kidneys during a 30 week ultrasound. She was born at 36 weeks due to low amniotic fluid which stemmed from her kidney issues. Elena was an amazing baby from birth, as she was able to breath room air and stay in the hospital room with Suzanne for her first 2 nights. We learned that many babies with this disease die within the first month of life due to associated lung issues. Elena showed us how strong and resilient she is immediately by defying the odds!

However, she did have complications from her polycystic kidneys and needed to be transferred to the NICU for closer monitoring. She went into renal failure within her first 2 weeks of life and they realized that she would need to begin dialysis as soon as possible. She then had a successful surgery to place a PD catheter, a g-tube for feeding, and a broviac central line.

Elena once again proved to be a "superstar" in the words of her doctors and nurses! She adjusted to peritoneal dialysis at a remarkable speed and with no complications. She had a relatively short stay in the NICU for a baby considering the severity of her health issues and she came home to live with the rest of her family (Leo, Suzanne and big sister, Juliana) in June 2016.

Elena has had a really great course on peritoneal dialysis which she does at home every night for 10 hours. We are so proud of her strength and resilience but mostly for her happy, fun-loving attitude and personality. She lights up any room she is in with her quick smile and obvious love of people.


  • Mike, Lia, Willa and Shep Savino

    Lots of love to Elena! Go Team Elena!!

  • amyleightaylor

    Go Team Elena! - Amy, Ryan, Maevy, Carter, and June bug!

  • Carolyn, Josh, Charlotte and Ella Gwatney

    We Love Elena and will help support you in any way:) Go Team Elena!!

  • Rick Lofgren, COTA President

    Greetings from COTA! I want to congratulate the COTA for Elena L volunteer team for a great effort raising funds for the campaign in honor of Elena! When I set the campaign fundraising goals with all of our families, I try to do so knowing that some communities and volunteer teams have more developed resources and connections than others, and in fundraising these are critical to success. With this in mind, I usually suggest a goal to COTA patients that I believe is needed for any patient’s long-term expenses and transplant-related costs, and the goal generally reflects the next four to five years of out-of-pocket costs. For example, most of our patients will have $5,000 in annual co-payments, deductibles, and medications, as well as another $5,000 or more of additional costs for clinic visits. This could mean $25,000 - $30,000 for any patient in two or three years after transplant. In this case, because your team and supporters have done such a great job with the campaign, and with Elena’s ongoing care while she awaits her transplant, I spoke with Suzanne this week and suggested that we amend the goal to better reflect the actual expenses. Because of this, I have raised the goal for the COTA for Elena L campaign from $50,000 to $75,000 to reflect what we believe will be actual costs going forward for the next several years. Thank you for all the work and support you have provided to this point, and please keep the entire family in your prayers as Elena continues along her transplant journey!

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