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Temecula baby in need of life-saving transplant

Dean Baker is in need of a life-saving kidney transplant. Village News/Courtesy photo

TEMECULA – 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 is a national 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses. In Temecula, volunteers are raising funds for COTA in honor of transplant patients like local toddler, Dean Baker.

Dean is the son of Ashley and Darrik Baker. Born in 2022, Dean was diagnosed with end stage renal disease. The transplant team at University of California Los Angeles Health in Los Angeles recommended a life-saving kidney transplant. Temecula volunteers are raising $75,000 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 Maria Nacar at [email protected] or 949-697-8643.

COTA helps transplant families avoid financial devastation. 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 $1,000,000. In cases where a shortfall exists, COTA helps bridge the financial gap.

Dean'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 assists with transplant-related expenses.

Contributions may be sent to the Children's Organ Transplant Association, 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington, Indiana, 47403. Checks should be made payable to COTA, with "In Honor of Dean's Fight" written on the memo line. Secure credit card gifts are accepted online at

Submitted by Children's Organ Transplant Association.


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