A Feb. 26 fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurant in Springfield is scheduled for Emma Allen, born seven weeks early on March 9, 2019, with only one non-functioning kidney. At 3 days old, she underwent surgery to have catheters inserted so dialysis could be started. At 2 months old, she had another surgery so a gastrostomy feeding tube could be inserted into her stomach.
Despite complications and setbacks, Emma finally went home July 16, 2019, with parents Tabatha and Daniel Allen, who live in southwest Champaign County. The family includes Emma’s brother, Caden, 15, and sister, Paisley, 6.
“Emma is a pure fighter and is the happiest baby you’ll ever meet,” Tabatha Allen says of her daughter. “She loves to smile, cuddle and gabs away.” These comments are part of Emma’s story on a Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) website, www.COTAforTeamEmmaA.com
Diagnosed with multi-cystic dysplastic kidney disease (MCDK) and End Stage Renal Disease, Emma has dialysis 12 hours a night and continues to be fed with the gtube.
“We cannot wait until she no longer has to be on dialysis and can eat by mouth once she gets her new kidney,” says Allen, who quit her job to provide at-home care for Emma.
The plan is to remove Emma’s non-functioning kidney next month, and the hope is for a kidney transplant by the end of the year at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
The 4-9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, fundraiser at the Springfield restaurant is an effort to add to the $3,440 donated by 31 people as of Thursday. Urbana area volunteers are trying to raise $55,000 through fundraisers and donations for COTA to help with the family’s transplant-related costs.
The website for COTA, a national 501(c)3 charity that raises funds for such costs, states that transplants are $100,000 to more than $800,000 and that expenses don’t end there. Transplant-related costs include medication, transportation, lodging and other needs.
Raising funds, giving donations
“Eat Wings, Raise Funds” is the goal of the fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurant, 1960 N. Bechtle Ave., Springfield. The restaurant will donate 15% of total bills (not including tax, tips and discounts) to this COTA fundraiser for Emma. Patrons dining in or taking out can participate. Tickets must be given to servers, or show a photo of the ticket or mention the ticket found at the www.COTAforTeamEmmaA.com website. Team Emma T-shirts will be sold at the restaurant.
To help with fundraising or for more information, contact Community Coordinator Jessica Hicks at 937-241-2250 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations can be sent to Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 W. COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403. Make checks payable to COTA and write “In Honor of Team Emma A” on the memo line. To donate with a credit card, visit www.COTAforTeamEmmaA.com
Kathy Fox can be reached at 937-652-1331, ext. 1773.