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Regina Crowe was born and raised in the Bloomington community, is a stay at home mother to her 8-year-old son, Elijah, and wife to Alex Crowe.
Regina was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) at birth in 1977, which is a chronic, progressive, and frequently fatal genetic (inherited) disease of the body's mucus glands. CF primarily affects the respiratory and digestive systems in children and young adults. Regina needed a life-saving double lung transplant, which she received in January of 2013. Her surgery was performed at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, where she had to have post-surgery check-ups every day for three months. The medical team treating Regina have indicated she's recovering and accepting her new lungs at a miraculous rate.
An estimated $40,000 is being raised by Bloomington volunteers for the Children’s Organ Transplant Association in her honor for this life-saving operation and associated costs.
The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses.
About the Children's Organ Transplant Association
COTA's story began in July 1985 when their first patient, a toddler from Bloomington, Indiana, needed assistance. The child's parents were told their son had biliary atresia, and needed a liver transplant to survive. Adding to their pain was the fact that they faced exclusion from the organ waiting list due to their lack of funds as their insurance carrier did not cover transplant costs. Caring for two small children, they could not pay for such a costly surgery.
When their family, friends and community members learned of their dire situation, hundreds responded enthusiastically. School children gave their allowances and went door-to-door collecting change. Friends took coin canisters to the local county fair and asked for donations. Local political leaders interceded with insurance companies on their behalf. Within weeks, the community raised $100,000, enabling this child to be placed on the liver transplant waiting list.
What started as a drive to save the life of one child in central Indiana evolved into the Children's Organ Transplant Association.
Since 1986, COTA, the premier organization providing fundraising assistance to families facing a life-saving transplant, has helped 1900 families and raised $70 million. Today, COTA exists to assist patients who require a life-saving organ, bone marrow, cord blood or stem cell transplant.
COTA guides the family and their volunteers through every necessary fundraising step, including organizing and training the campaign committee, planning successful events and activities, working with the media, and finding multiple sources of funding.