News - McHenry County

Marengo child needs life-saving organ transplant

Volunteers are raising funds in honor of transplant patient Levi Olson of Marengo.

With the cost of a life-saving transplant often exceeding $800,000, most transplant families are unable to shoulder that financial burden. The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national 501(c)3 charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses.

Levi is the son of Lindsey and Zach Olson. Born in 2017, Levi was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The transplant team at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago recommends a heart transplant. Marengo volunteers are raising $50,000 for COTA to assist with transplant-related expenses.

Volunteers are needed for this COTA community campaign. Individuals and groups interested in more information should contact Community Coordinator Anne Biewald at or 847-707-7322.

Transplant procedure costs range from $100,000 to more than $800,000. Once the transplant is complete, families face significant transplant-related expenses, including medication; transportation to and from the transplant center; lodging; and expenses while parents are out of work and often living with the hospitalized child far from home. These out-of-pocket expenses add up to tens of thousands of dollars annually for transplant families with lifetime totals often exceeding $1 million. In cases where a shortfall exists, COTA helps bridge the financial gap.

Levi’s family has asked for assistance from the Children’s Organ Transplant Association. One-hundred percent of all funds raised for COTA in honor of patients assist with transplant-related expenses.

Contributions may be sent to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 W. COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403. Checks should be made payable to COTA, with In Honor of LovinLeviwritten on the memo line. Secure credit card gifts are accepted online at