Shining examples of the strength and determination of the Chickasaw people

Melissa Tartsah Morgan is a kidney transplant recipient and her mother, Vicky Gold, was her living donor. Always an active teenager, Melissa began to feel fatigued when she was a 17-year-old junior at Latta High School. A biopsy revealed that Melissa was suffering from focal segmental glomerular sclerosis, a progressive kidney disease that occurs when scar tissue forms in some of the kidney's glomeruli, the structures in the kidney that alter harmful substances out of the body.

In September 2006, Melissa's kidney function dropped below 20 percent, the benchmark to be placed on the transplant list. Then and there, Vicky decided that she would be a living donor for her daughter. Both of their surgeries were a success and since then, Melissa has received a clean bill of health.

The tribal Medical Assistance Program Service (MAPS) covered the medicine for the mother-daughter Chickasaw citizens. "We feel especially blessed to be citizens of the Chickasaw Nation," says Vicky. "We thank everyone for their prayers and we thank the Lord for Melissa’s transplant being such a tremendous success."