Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
By Rick Lofgren Greenwood, Ind.
The Children’s Organ Transplant Association was founded in 1986 when residents of Bloomington, Ind., rallied around a toddler who needed a life-saving liver transplant. In less than 8 weeks, the community raised $100,000 to place the boy on the organ waiting list.
But the child died before an organ became available. Those community volunteers, along with his parents, turned tragedy into triumph by using the funds they raised to help other transplant families. That was the beginning of COTA.
Since that time, COTA has assisted more than 2,000 patients by helping to raise funds for transplant-related expenses. COTA has built extensive volunteer networks across the nation in an attempt to ensure that no child or young adult needing an organ or tissue transplant is excluded from a transplant waiting list because of a lack of funds.
COTA needs your help to make sure that tragedies, like the one that was the catalyst in founding COTA, are not repeated.
Every day, 18 people die while waiting for an organ transplant here in the United States.
April is National Donate Life Month. Please register today to become an organ donor. Then, encourage your friends, family members, neighbors, and associates to take two simple, life-saving steps: register as an organ donor at www.donatelife.net or your state’s driver’s license bureau, and express your wish to be a donor to your family members.
You can do more. Find out how you can help a COTA family living nearby who needs your help by visiting www.cota.org. Please log on today to see how you can give hope and make a miracle in your community.
Note to readers: Rick Lofgren is the president of COTA, a national charity based in Bloomington, Ind.