Since its founding in 1986, the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) has assisted hundreds of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients, many of whom have received a life-saving lung or liver transplant. During that time, teams of COTA volunteers and COTA staff members have raised millions of dollars to help these patients and their families meet transplant-related expenses.
The average lung transplant and follow-up care requires more than $1.4 million, according to an article in the September 2017 issue of Fortune Magazine. Today, thanks to improved health insurance coverage, few patients are required to pay this amount. However, it is not uncommon for a lung transplant patient to have out-of-pocket expenses of more than $25,000 for the transplant and follow-up care during the first months following the transplant, and $10,000 annually for medications and clinic visits following the life-saving transplant.
COTA’s goal is to meet the financial obligations that each patient faces. Most patients have health insurance coverage, but this does not cover fuel costs to numerous clinic visits, expenses incurred when parents or spouses are on unpaid leave from work as caregivers, and multiple (and expensive) monthly prescription co-payments and deductibles. While many COTA families identify highly successful volunteer teams that raise funds to meet transplant-related costs, there are approximately 20% of our families for whom volunteer teams are unable to raise funds to meet patients’ expenses for five, eight, 10 years or more.
COTA staff, Board of Directors, community campaign volunteers, contributors (Miracle Makers) and transplant families helped achieve a record-setting year in every possible way. 225 new transplant-needy patients and families were served and a record 183 COTA patients were successfully transplanted. In the past year, contributions of more than $6 million were given in honor of patients throughout the year which further resulted in a record for transplant-related expenses paid to help families.
Each year the COTA team works to assist hundreds of transplant patients and families. While COTA team members are not in a surgical suite nor actively involved in the actual transplant procedure, transplant families repeatedly tell us that COTA’s presence is definitely felt in many areas of the transplant center and at many times throughout the transplant journey.
Our initial goal is to raise $200,000 annually beginning in 2018 to help fund these unmet transplant-related expenses. Will you join us and support the COTA Cystic Fibrosis Patient Fund by making a gift to help our CF patients and families across the country? Our hope is to ensure that every COTA patient has eligible expenses covered, which will require approximately $1 million being raised for the COTA Cystic Fibrosis Patient Fund during the next five years.
As always, COTA guarantees that 100% of all funds contributed in honor of patients are used for transplant-related expenses.
Please join COTA on this journey to help meet the financial needs of Cystic Fibrosis patients and their families. Your support will remove the financial barriers CF patients face throughout their transplant journeys.