Cassidy Nicole is a beautiful seventeen-year old lady, inside and out, full of sass and a serious fighter. Cassidy was born in December 2001 with a syndrome that affected her heart, kidneys, hearing, vision, airways, and overall stamina. She has had three heart surgeries (at 3 months, 3 years and 13 years) and 30 other trips to the operating room for things like feeding tube installations, airway surgeries and bladder procedures, just to name a few. Her kidneys have always been under a close watch and subject to delicate management through diet and medication. You’d never know from her joyous, positive attitude the amount of work she puts in daily to manage her condition, and protect her kidneys.
Cassidy is also deaf, making sign language her primary form of communication. She has been through so much, but God has been with her in amazing ways and she has such an amazing spirit about her.
Cassidy is now facing her biggest battle yet. Her kidneys lasted longer than doctors ever expected, but they are tired. She has end-stage kidney failure and is in imminent need of a transplant. Some may expect that open-heart surgery was the apex of her medical challenges, however an organ transplant will span far beyond anything she has faced to date. It is an arduous process with months of delicate care after surgery, and carries major lifetime implications. However, because kidney failure has drastically taken its toll on her stamina, Cassidy looks forward to the renewed energy that a new kidney will provide her so that she can be her very best.
Despite enduring more than her fair share over her lifetime, Cassidy has an incredible spirit about her. The mark she leaves on people is undeniable - just being around her makes people smile more. She is thriving in school and challenges her classmates to do their best. She loves to draw and write stories. When asked what she would want someone to take away from her story, she pondered for a moment and said... “Being deaf and sick is a hard life,... but God gave me a beautiful life,... and God has a plan for my future.” Profound words from such a young lady.
In the future, Cassidy has aspirations of working with deaf and sick people. She knows what it is like to feel lonely, scared, helpless, and faced with uncertainty. If you know Cassidy at all, you know that she is already living this out in her life in many ways, and there is no telling the amazing impact this next season of her life will bring to this world. Her diagnosis is part of her, but does not define her.
The coming months will be filled with blood, sweat and tears, but also victories and laughter. So get ready world, Cassidy is on the rise!
The Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) helps children and young adults 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 our patients helps meet transplant-related expenses. COTA’s services are free to our families, and gifts to COTA are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.