By Zina Kumok, Media and Communications Coordinator
Bob has been a Little Red Door client since May 2014. He was diagnosed in March of last year with stage four prostate cancer that has since spread to his bones. When he came to LRD in May, he had not yet started treatment. Once he was diagnosed, he was placed on family medical leave without pay and had to sell his car to make ends meet. Without a car, he could not get a ride to his treatment appointments.
Transportation is one of the biggest programs at the agency. Last year LRD gave almost 10,000 rides to chemotherapy, radiation and follow-up appointments. Some of these come in form of cabs that go door-to-door while others are gas cards for people who have someone to take them or bus passes for those who want to use public transportation.
Bob also received nutritional supplements and other support services. Client Navigator Lashell Moses (pictured above) made sure he got VA benefits (he served in the Iraq War before being honorably discharged) and connected him with SNAP benefits. He attended our weekly Door to Wellness program, where he participated in yoga, massage and cooking classes.
Last year Little Red Door client navigators answered 20,577 phone calls from clients and made about 18,799 phone calls on behalf of LRD clients.
More than half of the work that client navigators do is just that – navigation. They listen to a person’s story and determine what services they might need – whether it’s applying for benefits that they didn’t know they were eligible for or calling their doctor to set up a treatment schedule because their phone has been cut off.
Lashell said navigating a client is making sure to figure out what they might need and what services we can give them. If we can’t give them something, she says, we try to figure out if someone else can.
If you know of someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, please have them call our agency at 317-925-5595.