Dr. Lita’s Story Highlights Need for Organ Donation in Native Community

POW WOWS | By Toyacoyah Brown

If you’ve gone to Gathering of Nations, then you are definitely familiar with the lady pictured above. Dr. Lita Mathews is the co-founder of one of the largest pow wows in North America and you may have seen her judging the Long Hair contest there. The reason she enjoys putting on this special contest each year is because her father loved her beautiful long hair and said she should never cut it. However she had developed some serious health issues that caused her to lose her hair.

As the story goes, just three days before the start of the 25th annual Gathering of Nations, she was rushed to an Albuquerque hospital. It wasn’t until later that she found out just how close she was to dying. On January 8, 2010, Lita and her family were told that she would need a liver transplant, a small cancer had developed in her liver.

At the start of the 2010 Gathering of Nations, Lita and her family received a call informing them that the medical exams on the potential living donor had all gone well, the date for her transplant was set. On May 28, 2010, she received her life-saving liver transplant from a living donor, a long-time friend, Beverly. Continue reading

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