Luke Ludlow Photo Provided

Luke Ludlow is now living life to the fullest and has accepted a position with the Amazon Smile program.

Ludlow shows the value of perseverance

By Christian Toews
February 1, 2022

Luke Ludlow has overcome some significant obstacles in life. His drive and determination have kept him moving forward and accomplishing his goals. According to his mother, Jessica Ludlow, he faced a challenging hearing loss issue at only four years old. Luke was able to recover, and Jessica said she could see that he was persistent from that early age.

Jessica says Luke was building rockets at seven years old, teaching himself Greek and Physics at nine, and taking classes online with Stanford in middle school. She commented that Luke’s persistence in learning showed that he wasn’t someone who would give up easily. The Ludlow family moved to Ireland for a time, and Luke was able to work as a model and a photographer before college.

When he started college, he had no idea that he would soon face one of the most difficult challenges of his young life. Luke was diagnosed with a rare kidney condition called Renal Nutcracker Syndrome. According to the National Institutes of Health, Renal Nutcracker Syndrome is a condition that occurs when the left renal vein (the vein that carries blood purified by the left kidney) becomes compressed.

Nutcracker syndrome is rare and can affect adults or children, though the prevalence and specific causes are unknown. For more information on the disease, visit

Luke’s condition required a kidney transplant during his sophomore year of college. According to Luke, that the surgery was a significant physical and mental setback. “I really wanted to just keep going and working toward my goals, and it was difficult. It made me slow down,” he said. Luke said facing this challenge made him realize that it was alright for him to change his expectations.

Luke Ludlow
Photo Provided

After being diagnosed with Renal Nutcracker Syndrome, Luke Ludlow underwent a kidney transplant to save his life.

“I realized that it was okay for my best to shift from attending every single class to attending what I could, from getting straight A’s to allowing myself to get a B in a class. I had to slow down and realize that my body and mind needed time to recover,” Luke explained.

Luke noticed how closely connected his body was to his mind during that time. Even when his mind felt like being active, he had to rest his body to continue making progress and healing. While his college experience was interrupted drastically, Luke completed his degree in computer science from the University of Utah. He recently accepted a job with Amazon and moved to Seattle.

According to Luke, he will be working with the Amazon Smile program, which allows people to donate to charities through Amazon. Luke is excited to have a purpose like this behind his work. “I absolutely love my job, I love writing code and it feels good to work for something that helps charities,” he said. Luke is very proud of his Choctaw heritage and has always been curious about his ancestors.

He said he really appreciates the scholarships that he received from the Choctaw Nation and commented that being a Choctaw tribal member helped him in many ways. “Because of my Choctaw heritage, I was able to get more resources to help me succeed in college, and I really appreciate that,” Luke said.