Kate Service, a 5-year-old from Cumming, was on a transplant list for four months before receiving a new liver on Oct. 2.
Courtesy of Lisa Service. (click for larger version)
Kate Service colors in the hospital after undergoing surgery to receive a new liver. (click for larger version)
October 29, 2013ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Kate Service, a 5-year-old from Cumming, was diagnosed with liver failure in March 2013. After being put on a transplant list in May, Kate finally received a new liver on Oct. 2.
Because the cost of a liver transplant often exceeds $500,000, volunteers in the community began raising funds to benefit Kate and her family.
The Team Kate Holiday Bazaar will be a fundraiser to benefit Kate through the Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA), a national charity dedicated to helping communities raise funds for transplant expenses, on Friday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2.
The event will feature shopping, food and fun and will be held at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church at 13560 Cogburn Road in Alpharetta.
Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, a "Girls Night Out" will include "mocktails," hors d'oeuvres, door prizes and raffles. The cost is $10.
On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the free admission event will offer a bazaar for all ages.
"There's going to be a lot of different vendors offering a variety of crafts, merchandise and shopping for people to kick off the holiday season," said Lisa Service, Kate's mother.
Some of those vendors include Stella and Dot, Party Plaza, Pampered Chef, Vault Denim and Mary Kay Cosmetics.
William Service, Kate's father, said they want to raise $2,000 at the holiday bazaar, but their ultimate goal for COTA is to raise $50,000.
"We're getting there," he said. "We want to raise money to help with our expenses right now, but part of our fundraising efforts is to prepare for when Kate becomes an adult, so that she can have the funds to pay her medical bills that she'll have her entire life."
And through this long journey, Kate has remained in good spirits.
"Kate's been amazing through this," William said. "Because she just had the transplant, she can't come to any of the events — but she understands that we're doing this for her."
Both William and Lisa said the overwhelming support they've received from the community, from people they know and strangers, has been incredible.
"They genuinely want to help us, without any strings attached, in our time of need," William said.
Lisa added: "It makes you remember that people really are good."
All proceeds from the event benefit COTA in honor of Kate. For ticket or vendor information, visit www.cotaforkates.com or www.facebook.com/cotaforkates.