By Nick Duvall, Director of DevelopmentEvery month we will highlight a board member or donor who has made an impact on Little Red Door. This month’s interview is with Byran Litton, who works as the Global Product Leader in the Oncology Department at Eli Lilly.
- Why do you give your time to LRD?
It’s a practical question for anyone juggling the demands of family and career… essentially, is what you engage in your community worth the time you invest? To me there are two components; 1) Does the organization have meaningful impact? 2) Can you, as an individual, really make a difference? With the LRD I like the answer to both. As you attend the LRD Breakfast of Hope, and hear from single mothers who were able to receive access to treatment or kids who develop life- long relationships at Camp LRD, those faces and stories stick with you. There is a staggering volume of need for cancer patients right here central Indiana, many who may not have the means of you or I, and LRDs impact is critical. In regard to the second question… it’s a full YES. You don’t have to be an expert in cancer care or a guru in running non-profit organizations to make a difference. If you’ve been touched by cancer and have a passion to help you can make a difference.
- How did you start helping LRD?
Lilly has a long standing history of individual and organizational support of LRD. As I was junior at Lilly I saw our leaders serve on the board and others offer their time in various programs. Nearly 15 years ago I was first introduced to LRD by our leadership and consider myself lucky in that.
I take pride in the fact that the opportunity for people within our organization to develop a connection with LRD continues to grow. One great example, you will find dozens of Lilly employees who choose to serve at the LRD as part of our annual Lilly Day of Service. Over the past couple of years we’ve made “chemo blankets” for patients undergoing treatment. If you are not familiar, cancer infusion suites are often cool and the treatment itself can actually make the patient cold. It’s a small thing, but if you have a blanket to keep you warm on that first scary day when you get treatment and you know someone cared enough to make it for you… maybe it isn’t really a small a thing for you. It’s a good example of how easy it can be to help.
- What is your favorite aspect or program at Little Red Door?
Not easy to pick just one program so I’ll cheat the question a bit… transportation to treatment, outfitting a beautiful woman with a wig – so that she feels a little more beautiful, nutritional supplements for those who may not be able to afford them – and this list goes on. But my favorite aspect of all of this is that LRD offers a special group of people in the Client Navigators. It’s commentary on the scope of impact in central Indiana that LRD Client Navigators handle over 20,000 calls per year. Every day this team helps connect clients to resources and encourage them along the way. They are LRD to so many patients and hearing of the work they do across all our programs may very well be my favorite thing.
- Why is partnering with us valuable to you?
Dealing with cancer reminds us that time is vapor… it’s here and then it is gone. If you can make a difference for those around you – you ought to get to it.