ST. LOUIS — There were concerns Louis Brewer wouldn’t survive before he was even born. But the St. Louis toddler is alive today, partly in thanks to a kidney transplant done with the help of the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, or COTA for short.

Russell and Rachelle welcomed Louis into the world on March 20, 2016. He is the youngest of their five boys. But during his development, Louis developed a blockage in his urethra, which caused various problems.

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After he was born, Louis was diagnosed with kidney failure. He spent the first four months of his life in the NICU.

In the two years since, Louis “endured many surgeries and some minor delays in development,” COTA wrote online. “He is now an alert, active, joyful and talkative boy. Indeed, he works hard to fit right in with his older brothers.”

This summer, Louis reached the required 22-pound minimum needed for kidney transplant. And the long-awaited day arrived Aug. 20 when the 2-year-old underwent a successful kidney transplant.

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The Brewer family reached out to COTA for financial help. Organ transplants can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $800,000.

Now, COTA is looking to the St. Louis community for help continuing its life-saving mission. It’s hoping to raise $50,000 in a new campaign to help more transplant patients like Louis. Those interested in volunteering for the campaign should contact Cindy Beabout at (618) 920-5530 or email her at

Contributions may be sent to:

Children’s Organ Transplant Association

2501 West COTA Drive

Bloomington, Indiana 47403.

Checks should be made payable to COTA, with “In Honor of Louis B” written on the memo line. Secure credit card gifts are accepted online at