Give a Little Hope, Help Make a Little Miracle

Photo courtesy of iStock

Photo courtesy of iStock

Giving hope… making miracles.

That’s the slogan of the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), an organization that helps children and young adults that need life-saving transplant surgery by providing fundraising assistance and family support.

Since 1986 COTA has helped nearly 2,000 kids and adults, raising over $70 million. Every dollar raised in honor of COTA’s patients is used for transplant-related expenses. It’s a little charity that has been doing good work for over 25 years. And the vast majority of us have never heard of COTA.

Until now.

halle lHalle Ludwig is a 12 year old girl in our community who has been fighting an ongoing battle with end-stage renal disease and is desperately in need of a kidney transplant. Halle received her mother’s kidney when she was two years old, but that kidney is now failing. The doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital have recommended a life-saving kidney transplant. COTA is helping to raise funds to pay for the cost of the transplant and the associated expenses before and after her transplant takes place.

Christine Clinkenbeard, Halle’s mom, describes how much help our community has already provided to date:

“The community has absolutely rallied for all of us during this time of need. TWHS Student Council sold t-shirts for us and raised $1,000 for COTA in Honor of Halle. They will be holding a silent auction this spring for COTA, as well. Oak Ridge has continued to support us and have donated baskets for this weekend’s fundraiser. Neighbors and people in the community have rushed to our aid. They have started a meal train for us to help ease the stress at home. It has been simply amazing.”

Our neighbors can continue to help Halle Ludwig on Saturday, January 25th at Mama J’s BBQ & Grill, as COTA will be holding a fundraiser for Halle. Mama J’s is located on the I-45 northbound feeder, a few blocks before you get to Robinson Road, at the site of the old Sam’s Boat. The fundraiser begins at 5:00 pm Saturday and will continue until 11:00 pm.

La Hacienda Treatment Facility, BMW, Holiday World and the Terre Haute Firefighters Union Local 758 and more have all helped to put on the event.

Several items have already been donated for the event, including:

  • A signed photo and jersey from the Houston Rockets James Harden
  • An autographed picture and basketball from Rocket center Omer Asik
  • A signed scarf from the Houston Dynamo
  • An autographed football from the Houston Texans
  • A baseball signed by MLB Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg and his Chicago Cubs teammates
  • An autographed book from Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell of “Lone Survivor”
  • Time shares, jewelry, gift cards, gift baskets, and gift certificates from local businesses too numerous to name

At this point Halle’s kidney is functioning at approximately 10-15%.  Halle’s great uncle is a preliminary blood and tissue match, and in a few weeks the transplant boards at St, Luke’s Downtown and Texas Children’s will consider the transplant. The kidney she has now is not only failing but is causing a severe reservoir of urine to collect above the bladder.

Halle’s mom describes what lies ahead for her daughter:

“If my uncle is a match, we will immediately schedule the removal of the kidney. She will then undergo six weeks of hemodialysis three times weekly at Texas Children’s downtown while she heals from the surgery. After a six week recovery time, she will then be transplanted. They will remove the donor’s kidney at St. Luke’s and do Halle’s surgery at Texas Children’s.  

Then she will spend three weeks in the hospital and will not be allowed to be around large crowds or strangers for six weeks post transplant.  She’ll begin partial home bound schooling upon removal of the kidney, and will go to complete home bound at the time of transplant.  

If my uncle does not match or for some reason cannot complete the surgery, we will continue testing donors and we will wait until her kidney completely fails before we remove it.  She is chronically, progressively, and quickly worsening with regard to kidney function.”

Come on out to Mama J’s on the 25th – it will be a great night with a live band and great food. For those who can not attend but would like to donate, you can go check out Halle’s COTA transplant web page.

Halle has given all of us an opportunity to bless her through our hearts, our prayers, and our pocketbooks. We all have a chance to contribute just a little bit, to give a little hope, and help make a little miracle.

See you at Mama J’s!

Comments to Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com

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Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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