Community has given teen ‘ray of hope’

Published 9:26 am Thursday, May 26, 2011

In October of 2010 it was announced that 16-year-old Bethany Bibb, an Ironton High School student, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at a very young age and is now in need of a life-saving double lung transplant.

Bethany and her family would need an estimated $35,000 to help pay for transplant-related expenses.

The Bibb family sought assistance from the Ironton and Tri-State communities and the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) for help.

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COTA, which provides fundraising assistance for children and young adults who need, or have had a life-saving transplant and promotes organ, marrow and tissue donation, approved Bethany’s request and the fundraising began.

Bethany’s Buddies, a team of Bethany’s family and friends, was formed through the leadership of Ironton resident Belinda Brown, who began organizing the team with the help of various individuals and organizations. The goal was to raise $35,000.

On behalf of Bethany’s Buddies, and the Bibb family I would like to thank the Ironton and Tri-State community for your support during this fundraising endeavor.

Over the past six months you have generously opened your hearts and pockets to assist us in surpassing our fundraising goal and raising an estimated $40,000. The hard work and sacrifice of so many has given Bethany a ray of hope, as she continues her journey.

Although the Bethany’s Buddies campaign has come to an end, please be aware that donations can still be made on behalf of Bethany and the funds will be used for transplant-related expenses that she will have for her lifetime.

Please mail all donations to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN, 47403. Checks or money orders should be made payable to COTA, with “In Honor of Bethany B.” written on the memo line of the check.

Secure credit card donations are also accepted online at

As much as kids like Bethany need the financial and emotional support from communities like ours, please keep in mind at any given moment, almost 100,000 children and adults are awaiting an organ transplant and an average of 18 people die every day due to the lack of available organs.

The numbers are overwhelming but there is a way you can help. Become a donor.

For more information on organ donation please contact Lifeline of Ohio at 1.800.525.5667 or

Again, thank you for your support and generosity. We ask that you continue to keep Bethany and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

In the words of Bethany, “Live, Laugh, Love, Breathe!”

Robert Pleasant, Jr. is the public relations coordinator for Bethany’s Buddies.