Our Story

Carter Adrian Wilson was born in December of 2018 and was a very happy and healthy child. However, in March of 2023, Carter was hospitalized for pneumonia and spent 5 days in the hospital. While we were terrified about the pneumonia, we believed Carter would receive treatment, get discharged, and we could continue living our lives as normal. Unfortunately, this was the beginning of our lives changing forever.

During his hospitalization, the doctors noticed that Carter was releasing large amounts of protein in his urine and ended up being diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome a month later. Carter was immediately placed on high-dose steroids to combat his nephrotic syndrome, but to no avail. Six weeks, several hospitalizations, and two kidney biopsies later, Carter was diagnosed with a rare form of steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome called FSGS (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis). Carter’s diagnosis of FSGS meant that he would eventually need a kidney transplant.

Carter’s illness caused him to continue to release large amounts of necessary proteins through his urine at alarming rates. Due to this, Carter began 4-hour protein infusion treatments 3 times a week in July of 2023. We believed that Carter would be able to sustain on infusions for quite some time before developing end-stage renal failure, but that wasn’t the case. Carter’s kidney function dropped to less than 10% in a little over a month and he was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure in August of 2023, spending over two weeks in the hospital.

Carter has been on hemodialysis 4 times a week since August and requires a kidney transplant. Carter enjoys school, playing sports, and most importantly, he loves to swim, which his hemodialysis catheter prevents him from doing. When asked what he wanted for his birthday and Christmas last year, his response was “All I want is a new kidney so I can go swimming again.”

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.