Breast Cancer Awareness Month is marked by pink, but one organization signified by red is doing its part to help increase the survival rate of those diagnosed.
In 1945, Little Red Door opened its doors, and since then CEO & Director Fred Duncan said their mission hasn’t changed.
“Our goal is to help cancer patients and their caregivers get through the treatment and into survivorship.”
Duncan is wrapping up a big month focused on breast cancer awareness. It’s no longer just about getting women mammograms. They work on education and helping patients realize they can beat their illness.
“We have very poor public health outcomes in Indiana,” said Duncan. “We tend to smoke more than the average. We tend to have a higher obesity rate than the average and all of those things contribute to cancer and mortality.”
Recently, 500 chemo blankets made by Eli Lilly employees went out in care packages meant for patients, but where Little Red Door is seeing a growing demand is with their nutritional support program.
“That’s for folks who are unable to maintain enough body weight during treatment because they can’t keep solid food down,” explained Duncan.
Little Red Door provides the services and resources for free. This includes free transportation for patients who don’t have a way to get to their doctor and chemotherapy appointments. Seven years ago, they provided 4,000 free trips, and this year it’s spiked to almost 13,000 free rides for the medically under-served.
“Low income working folks who are doing OK and are self-sufficient and going about their life, raising their kids and going to work, but then cancer diagnosis comes along and it’s nearly impossible for them to keep their head above water,” Duncan described.
Little Red Door continues to grow. They still host kids with cancer at Camp Little Red Door, but the organization is also growing their complimentary therapy program which includes massages and even yoga.
“The science now around all cancers, especially breast cancer, is that fitness really matters,” said Duncan. “The more fit you are, the less likely you are to be diagnosed with cancer and the more likely you are to survive cancer treatment.”
Little Red Door is able to provide these resources for free through its continuous fundraising efforts. Click here to donate.