The Children’s Organ Transplant Association on Dec. 29 posted the following appeal on behalf of Hawaii resident Cassidy Goya.

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Cassidy is a sweet, thoughtful 15-year-old with a quick mind and dry wit. She is the youngest in a very close-knit family and best friends with her big sister, Autumn. Before her unexpected and quick-progressing illness, she loved playing softball, clarinet, and competing on the math team — all at the Mid Pacific Institute in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Cassidy Goya

Cassidy feels blessed to have the love and support of ‘ohana and friends, near and far. She appreciates the wonderful support coming alongside with prayers, food, calls, texts, words of encouragement, rides, and outpouring of love. If you are reading and hearing about Cassidy’s story for the first time — thank you for your interest!

Cassidy’s journey started in August 2022 when she began feeling extremely lethargic. After hundreds of tests and many hospital stays, both at Kapiolani Medical Center in Honolulu and at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California, she was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune condition called Vanishing Bile Duct Syndrome. It was likely caused by her taking an antibiotic called Minocycline, which irreversibly injured her liver as an unexpected side effect.

Over the last few months, her liver function has rapidly declined, causing her a lot of discomfort and creating a ripple effect of other debilitating symptoms. Throughout it all, she has been a source of strength and courage for her family. She has never complained and kept looking forward to when she gets better so she can eat the foods and do the activities she loves again.

On Dec. 15, 2022, her team of doctors from Kapiolani Children’s Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford made the decision that Cassidy was unlikely to get better on her own and put her on the active transplant list.

If you have the means to contribute financially to the COTA for Cassidy G campaign, we are grateful for your generosity. Our family is in a crisis, concerned about the exorbitant current medical costs and her ongoing, lifelong costs. We have already incurred significant expenses for travel, hospital, recurring doctor visits, and other medical-related costs.

The recovery from a liver transplant takes at least a year as well as the need to stay close to the hospital, which is over 2,000 miles from home, for the first three months. Cassidy will also require lifetime medication. COTA will assist us with these transplant-related expenses.

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) helps children and young adults who need a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support. COTA is the nation’s only fundraising organization solely dedicated to raising life-saving dollars in honor of transplant-needy children and young adults. 100% of each contribution made to COTA in honor of our patients helps meet transplant-related expenses. COTA’s services are free to our families, and gifts to COTA are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Mahalo nui from our ‘ohana for your prayers and support for Cassidy’s successful procedure and speedy recovery. We have faith in the great plans God has in store for her.

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Cassidy has a Los Angeles connection — her grandmother, May Goya, was an early supporter of the Asian American Drug Abuse Program, serving as a staff member. AADAP is helping the family to reach the $100,000 goal.

To date, more than $73,000 has been raised. To make a donation, go to: https://cota.org/campaigns/COTAforCassidyG/blog/our-story

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