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Area Teenager In Need Of Life-Saving Transplant

With the cost of a life-saving transplant often exceeding $800,000, most transplant families are unable to shoulder that financial burden. The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national 501(c)3 charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses. In Fort Wayne, volunteers are raising funds for COTA in honor of transplant patients like local teenager, Keke Shearer.

Keke is the daughter of Jessica Shearer and Justin Shearer. Born in 2004, Keke was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. The transplant team at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, has recommended a life-saving kidney transplant. Fort Wayne volunteers are raising $100,000 for COTA to assist with transplant-related expenses.

Additional volunteers are needed for this COTA community campaign. Individuals and groups interested in more information should contact Community Coordinator Stephanie Adair at 260.637.4363 or Media representatives should contact the Public Relations Coordinator Justin Shearer at 260.750.1195 or for more information about the family or the COTA community fundraising effort.

COTA helps transplant families avoid financial devastation. Transplant procedure costs range from $100,000 to more than $800,000. Once the transplant is complete, families face significant transplant-related expenses, including medication; transportation to and from the transplant center; lodging; and expenses while parents are out of work and often living with the hospitalized child far from home. These out-of-pocket expenses add up to tens of thousands of dollars annually for transplant families with lifetime totals often exceeding $1,000,000. In cases where a shortfall exists, COTA helps bridge the financial gap.

Keke’s family has asked for assistance from the Children’s Organ Transplant Association. The organization’s priority is to assure that no child or young adult is denied a transplant or excluded from a transplant waiting list due to lack of funds. One hundred percent of all funds raised in honor of patients assist with transplant-related expenses for a patient’s lifetime.

Contributions may be sent to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington, Indiana, 47403. Checks should be made payable to COTA, with “In Honor of Keke” written on the memo line. Secure credit card gifts are accepted online at