A Gift for Zoe
Community Supports Local Girl In Need of Liver Transplant
Writer: Janet Striebel
Zoe Anderson of Fishers is an adorable baby girl in need of a liver transplant at just 11 months old. She’s at the age where she’s starting to sit up and shows signs of teething as she enjoys chewing on her toys. She loves watching her two older brothers play and her face lights up whenever they enter the room.
Zoe (meaning “life” in Greek) was born with a rare liver condition called Biliary Atresia in which the bile ducts that carry bile from the liver to the intestines are either missing or are faulty. When she was only six weeks old, her parents, Carly and Seth Anderson, noticed some things didn’t seem right. After having visited her pediatrician and running lab tests and scans, this incurable disease was diagnosed. At only eight weeks old, Zoe underwent her first life-saving surgery, the Kasai procedure. Unfortunately, due to a damaged liver, she is now on a waitlist for a liver transplant.
The estimated cost for Zoe’s transplant exceeds $500,000. The Anderson family is trying to raise $100,000 for post-transplant medication and care and has reached out to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) for help. This national non-profit organization is dedicated to organizing and guiding communities to raise funds for patients in need of a transplant. Since COTA members recommend not having a parent be in charge of the fundraising campaign, Carly’s best friend has volunteered to help.
“Being a mother myself, my heart aches for my best friend, and while I cannot directly help Zoe, I can help ease the burden of the transplant by running a campaign to help raise funds for the family,” says Stephanie Thorla, Community Coordinator/Public Relations for COTA in honor of Zoe.
Stephanie and Carly first met about a year and a half ago when their two eldest sons attended pre-school together at Geist Christian Weekday Ministries.
“Our three children are around the same ages and our lives are parallel among the playdates and lunchtime get-togethers,” Stephanie says.
Each month for a year, some type of fundraising event will take place.
On April 13th, from 6-8:30 pm, Dana Mannix Gymnastics will host a fundraiser and tickets for kids will be $15. danamannixgymnastics.com
Rackz BBQ will host a dinner fundraiser in April as well.
Visit COTAforteamZoeA.com to download the flyers to present to restaurant staff and to read Carly’s ongoing blog about Zoe. Check the website for monthly fundraiser updates or to make a tax-deductible donation.
Stephanie welcomes you to join the campaign as a volunteer, express your fundraising ideas or share Zoe’s story on social media.
“We are so grateful for the amount of support and involvement of the community thus far and cannot wait to see what the rest of the year brings,” Stephanie says. “It’s truly amazing how our community can come together to support a local family.”