Our Story

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.

Karina’s story:

Despite facing various health challenges throughout my life, I’ve embraced each experience with a positive spirit. From my early days, I’ve learned and grown, continually finding joy in various activities. Over the years, I’ve been a part of cheerleading, celebrated my Quinceañera, spent time with horses, and indulged in my love for baking. WWE has been a consistent passion of mine, and through Make a Wish, I had the incredible opportunity to attend a WWE event in Portland and even interview Dolph Ziggler. 

My life journey has led me to a diagnosis of Alström Syndrome, which has brought its share of difficulties, including the loss of my vision and hearing. However, I’ve adapted and persevered, receiving a Cochlear Implant for one ear and a powerful hearing aid for the other. While managing diabetes, Hypothyroidism, and other challenges, I maintain a positive outlook. I’ve remained actively engaged in life, enjoying moments like spending time with animals at SeaWorld and maintaining fulfilling friendships. I am the co-vice president of Best Buddies at Organ Mountain High School. I am also currently running for homecoming queen. 

I come from a Spanish-speaking family and am a proud first-generation American, fluent in both languages, and deeply connected to my Mexican heritage. When you meet me, a simple “hello” or “hola” and a handshake can be the start of a new friendship. My name is a gateway to my story, one that’s shaped by resilience, happiness, and an unwavering zest for life. Though I now take 10 daily medications, down from 15, the journey ahead includes the need for liver and kidney transplants. My family has partnered with @cota_org to raise funds for the expenses.

 And this is where your support becomes crucial—please consider contributing to COTA for Karina by clicking the GIVE button.