News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 22, 2012

Fundraiser to benefit child who needs heart transplant

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — An “all-you-can-eat” fish fry fundraising event is scheduled for Dec. 8 to benefit 7-year-old Katelyn Newell, who is on a list to receive a heart transplant.

She is a first-grade student at Deming Elementary.

The fish fry, which will include fish, shrimp and chicken, will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. in the National Guard Armory at 3614 Maple Ave.

The event also will include a bake sale, silent auction and other activities. Tickets are $8.50 for adults and $5.50 for children under 12.

The event will include a DJ, and Mayor Duke Bennett is expected to stop by around 4 p.m.

Staples Distribution Center has donated a new laptop to be raffled or auctioned, and various restaurants and grocery stores have donated gift certificates. A new crossbow also will be raffled or auctioned.

Katelyn suffers from bradycardia, in which her heart beats very slowly. Her coronary arteries are not developing as they should, and her doctors at Riley have determined she needs a heart transplant.

She has been on a transplant list for nearly three months, and her family is raising funds in anticipation of transplant-related expenses that will not be covered by health insurance.

“We’re trying to do whatever we can to raise money for Katelyn for transplant-related expenses,” said her grandmother, Monica Trotter. “We know it’s a busy time for everyone but we hope they’ll come out.”

Katelyn’s mother, Robin Newell, said her daughter was at Riley Hospital for Children from Nov. 13 to 19 for infusion therapy. “She’s in great spirits,” said Robin Newell.

The family is working with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, a 501c3 charity. COTA is national charity based in Bloomington, dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses.

After expenses from the fundraiser are covered, the remaining proceeds will go directly to COTA, and donations are tax deductible.

The Newells will be reimbursed for their expenses associated with the transplant. Funds raised through COTA can be used for out-of-pocket medical expenses as well as living expenses that might include travel and food.

Katelyn, who has a pacemaker, continues to go to school, but she is often in a wheelchair there because she tires easily. She also has a “rest time” during the school day.

For more information about the fundraiser, contact Katelyn’s mother, Robin Newell, at 812-841-2532 or her grandmother, Monica Trotter, at 812-356-4049.