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St. Charles Girl, 1, Needs Life-Saving Transplant

Brett Blume
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Vivian Lemire (www.cota.org)

Vivian Lemire (www.cota.org)

CBS St. Louis (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSStL.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSStL.com/Health

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOX) -  She’s just 15-months-old and already in the fight of her life.

Now, volunteers are being sought to help in the effort to raise the $50,000 needed to help pay for a kidney transplant to keep little Vivian Lemire of St. Charles alive.

“Oh my gosh, Vivian’s a little sweetheart and she’s a little fighter girl,” family spokesperson Tami Joyce tells KMOX News. “She has so much spunk and is as sweet as all get-out.”

But even before Vivian was born in December of 2010, doctors monitoring ultrasound images had diagnosed her with “polycystic kidney disease”.

They knew to look for it because a child born several years prior to Richard and Cara Lemire of St. Charles had died of the same disease just two days after being born.

Joyce says the Lemires were told that if they had another child, there would be a less than one-in-four chance that he/she would develop kidney problems.

But it happened, and Joyce — who also represents a charity known as the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) — says efforts are underway to help the Lemire family raise the $50,000 needed to pay for a life-saving transplant for Vivian.

The toddler’s already had both of her kidneys removed.

“The first one was at two weeks of age,” Joyce explains. “The second one was four weeks later, and she’s been in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) close to three hundred days out of the total of three-hundred-fifty days since she was born.”

While COTA volunteers work to raise the money needed to pay for the kidney transplant, Vivian is nearing the minimum age and weight requirements needed before she can undergo the strenuous procedure.

Joyce expects the transplant could take place within the next six to nine months.

Meanwhile, volunteers are needed to assist with fundraising activities that will help with the Lemire family’s transplant-related expenses.

Individuals and groups interested in more information can contact community coordinator Kim Marsala-Eilers at (314) 581-4375 or Kim@COTAforVivianL.com.

Donations may be mailed to COTA, the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington Indiana 47403.

Checks or money orders should be made payable to COTA, with “in Honor of Vivian L.” written on the check’s memo line.

Secure credit card donations are also accepted online at www.COTAforVivianL.com.

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