Patricia and Ronald Formella of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, know firsthand what it means to be COTA Miracle Makers. Their four-year-old granddaughter, Ella Kucharski, received a life-saving kidney transplant at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in 2011. Her donor? Daddy Dave. Her fundraisers making this possible? A team of COTA volunteers from throughout the Southeastern Wisconsin region who are working to raise $50,000 for transplantrelated expenses.
Once Grandma Pat and Grandpa Ron learned of Ella's need for a new kidney; and the families working with COTA who need financial assistance, they inquired about making a donation using their retirement plan.
According to Pat, "When you reach a certain age, the government makes you access retirement funds and we are required to take a minimum distribution from our IRA ccount. We chose the Children's Organ Transplant Association because of Ella, and we also made a gift to our church at the same time, rather than paying unnecessary extra income taxes."
"I certainly recommend that anyone who is in the situation we are in consider making a similar donation to a child in need of a second chance at life. I encourage anyone in our circumstance to speak with their investment or tax advisor to determine what would be in their best interest. We were not aware that we could do this until we spoke to our IRA advisor, and it made perfect sense for us to do this for a number of reasons."
Born on April 13, 2009, little Ella was diagnosed with Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD) and Congenital Hepatic Fibrosis (CHF). The COTA team of volunteers continues to plan fundraisers to help offset the cost of transplant-related expenses. According to her COTA website (www.COTAforEllaK.com), to know Ella is to know a little ray of sunshine in your life. Just two, she elights her family and friends with gigantic smiles, raspberry kisses, and a love of music.
"COTA being there for our kids is outstanding and has given our kids a real sense of security and hope," said Ron.