By Trace A. DeMeyer
Oglala Lakota Elder Ellowyn Locke, in her mid-60s, has been on dialysis since diabetes took away her kidney function over 7 years ago. Three times a week, from 6 to 10 am, Ellowyn has dialysis to clean her blood, which essentially keeps her alive. There is no elder transport in Porcupine, South Dakota where she lives, so she uses her small monthly social security check to pay for gas and necessities like food. She has no pension from the years she taught the Lakota language in the rez schools before she was laid off in the 1990s. Since then she sewed star quilts for a living and sells her handmade jewelry and horsehair dolls to German tourists in the summer months.
This year Ellowyn fainted and fell twice, breaking her left ankle and then her right. On April 23, Ellowyn had a plate put in her right ankle at the Black Hills Ortho and Spine Center. Diabetes affects healing and this plate is necessary for her to be able to walk again. She is scheduled to go to the hospital in Rapid City, SD in early July for her fainting spells.
This elder needs your support, and even a small amount of money will go a long way. Most importantly, she needs a kidney transplant. She prays a living donor will come forward with “O” blood type and donate their kidney. She has been on the transplant list for years and patiently waits for a miracle.
If you can help, checks and money orders and letters can be sent directly to Ellowyn Locke, PO Box 22, Porcupine, SD 57772, and messages can be left at (605) 455-1080 or at the elders home at (605) 867-2710. If someone wishes to wire money via Western Union, please call with the serial number and your name so Ellowyn can receive it at the Western Union office at Sharps Corner near her home and the dialysis unit.
Keep good thoughts for this elder. She promises to make a gift for anyone who sends her a gift of money.