March 26, 2013: Our readers write

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Save a life, register as an organ donor

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association — COTA — was founded in 1986 when residents of Bloomington, Ind., rallied around a toddler who needed a life-saving liver transplant. In less than eight 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 money 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 money for transplant-related expenses. COTA has built extensive volunteer networks across the nation in an attempt to ensure no child or young adult needing an organ or tissue transplant is excluded from a transplant waiting list because of a lack of money.

COTA needs your help to make sure that tragedies, like the one that was the catalyst in founding COTA, are not repeated.

Every day 19 people die waiting for an organ transplant 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 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 child living nearby who needs your help by visiting www.cota.org. Log on today to see how you can give hope and make a miracle in your community.

Rick Lofgren

President and CEO

Children’s Organ Transplant Association

Bloomington, Ind.