On Thanksgiving Day, prior to, and following the Texas A&M vs University of Texas football game at Kyle Field, The Texas A&M Corps of Cadets will be holding an incredible fundraiser called “COINS FOR COOPER” to help raise money for three year old Cooper Knight who is waiting for a Modified Multivisceral Transplant to replace his colon and small bowel.
Members of the Corps will be collecting money for three hours before the game and for one hour following the game. At half-time, a video of Cooper will be shown on the Jumbo-Tron with a brief story about him.
Colonel Byron Stebbins and Cadet Kyle Whalen have worked with me to put this event together.
Cooper is Status One on the UNOS list and when the call comes that a donor has been found, Cooper and his parents will be flown to Pittsburgh on the Texas Children’s Hospital Kangaroo Jet. Cooper’s surgery will take place at The University of Pittsburgh Starzel Transplant Center. The estimated cost of Cooper’s surgery and first year of care is 1.25 million and his anti-rejection drugs in the ensuing years of his life will be $380,000 annually. Cooper’s parents were told that their out-of-pocket expenses the first year will be at least $100,000.
Because of these astronomical costs, Cooper’s parents joined with COTA (Children’s Organ Transplant Association) which is a 501(c)3 organization that takes no money from the family. They are dedicated to helping families with transplant-needy patients and assist communities as they organize their fundraising campaigns. 100% of the funds generated in honor of Cooper are used for transplant-related expenses.
Because Cooper is a brave and gutsy little boy who needs a gut transplant, his COTA campaign is called “GOT GUTS”.
On Tuesday evening we were given a wonderful gift for Cooper. It arrived in a large silver bucket with A&M on the front and it contained a beautiful Aggie blanket, a 12th Man Jersey, a real Aggie football with the inscription, “Cooper, we are praying for you. Keep fighting! Coach Mike Sherman” and a maroon and white cape with “SUPER AGGIE embroidered on the maroon side and on the white side are signatures and notes from all of the members of the Texas A&M Football Team!
As Cooper makes his Transplant Journey he is surrounded by The Texas A&M Corps of Cadets and the Aggie Football team! Aggies helping Aggies….an age old tradition and a miracle for Cooper. The money raised at this event will help Cooper receive his Gift of A Second Chance At Life!!
Cooper’s COTA website can be found at http://cotaforcooperk.com