“The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) provided so much hope to us by simply being by our side during some very dark days. COTA assisted us with transplant-related expenses and every person at COTA was very patient with us since this was all new. COTA emailed and called us to check on Itzel and on Read More

Read More

Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient

Getting Started

Here is how you can become a COTA Family

1. Make the Call

If you would like to become part of the COTA family, call COTA at 800.366.2682. After speaking with a member of COTA’s professional staff, materials with more details, including a Patient Agreement, will be sent to you. The agreement protects the transplant patient and the family, as well as COTA. The agreement spells out what you can expect from COTA, and allows COTA to raise funds on behalf of the patient and to use the patient’s picture and story in promotional materials. After you review the information, a COTA staff member is available to answer any questions you may have.

2. Sign the Agreement

The Parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the transplant patient must sign the COTA Patient Agreement for a minor child. Patients over the age of 18 must sign the COTA Patient Agreement.

3. Talk to your Doctor

Your transplant physician must complete the COTA Medical Form. If it is more convenient, the physician’s office can fax the form directly to COTA. COTA’s fax number is 812.336.8885. You do not need to be listed for transplant to begin a COTA community campaign, but you must have a transplant physician tell us that a transplant is a probable treatment for the diagnosis.

4. Send a Photo

COTA needs a clear photo of the patient for the website and publicity purposes. The photo should be a recent photo with a clear view of the child’s/young adult’s face. Photos can be emailed or mailed to COTA headquarters. COTA cannot launch your campaign donation page without a photo.

5. Recruit your Volunteers

Fundraising for transplant-related expenses is possible only when you have volunteers who will work with COTA to begin the fundraising effort. Additional volunteers who are willing to assist the lead volunteers by serving on committees and providing assistance will also be needed. Remember, none of the three key volunteer positions may be filled by parents or patient caregivers.

Community Coordinator

The most critical position for any COTA campaign is the Community Coordinator. The Community Coordinator will oversee the entire campaign. COTA provides the Community Coordinator with training, manuals, guides, fundraising resources and ongoing support. The Community Coordinator will:

  • Be readily available (via phone and email) during day and evening hours.
  • Live in the area where the majority of the fundraising will take place.
  • Not be the patient’s parent (unless the patient is an adult) or live in the same home as the patient

Public Relations Coordinator

The Public Relations Coordinator serves as the spokesperson for the fundraising campaign and will coordinate all media contacts, press releases and publicity for the efforts. COTA provides the Public Relations Coordinator with training and a manual, a local media list and resources to assist with media coverage. The Public Relations Coordinator will:

  • Be able to communicate with the media. Established media contacts are a plus.
  • Live in the area where the majority of the fundraising and media activities will take place.
  • Not be the patient’s parent, unless the patient is an adult who lives in a different home.


COTA will provide a campaign website for the community campaign volunteer team. The Webmaster will customize this website during the fundraising campaign. COTA will provide training and a manual to use with the website editing platform. Note that COTA volunteers and families may not use or maintain any other website during the campaign. The Webmaster will:

  • Have Internet and computer access and experience, and be willing to update the website regularly.
  • Live in area where fundraising will take place and be available to the rest of the volunteer team.
  • Not be the patient or the patient’s parent, unless the patient is an adult and living in a different home.

A Story of Hope

“In our family's case, the prospect of a transplant was a worst case scenario. Isabella ingested something that caused her kidneys to quit working, and when we heard that a transplant was our next step … we had already lost hope in so many ways. Once we were introduced to COTA, we learned of their many successful transplant stories and this helped to renew our hope that Isabella was going to make it. It also gave us hope to know that the COTA fund will be with her throughout her lifetime.”
~ Les and Cindy Crutcher, Parents of Isabella