“She’s always looking after everyone else’s needs before her own, and she will do without if it means helping someone else instead. She’s a model for all of us.”
Those are the words of Melinda Barnhill, director of marketing and admissions at Lyons Health & Living Center, a CarDon & Associates community located at County Road 800 West in Lyons, Ind.
Called Agent Red after her favorite color, Lisa Stinson is the housekeeping laundry supervisor and has been an employee at Lyons for 28 years. She started in housekeeping and laundry and has served as the supervisor for the past two decades. She oversees the housekeeping schedule, makes sure all the suites are cleaned, the laundry is done — and helps out wherever else she’s needed.
“When I first started at Lyons, someone in my personal life said I wouldn’t make it six months,” Stinson said. “Well, here I am, almost 30 years later. And I have all the love and support I could want from the residents as well as the staff.”
It’s that love that has helped sustain her since her diagnosis of stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer in 2013. Stinson has battled through radiation, two rounds of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy. And she’s still coming to work.
“I’m determined this illness isn’t going to get me down,” she said. “Coming to work keeps me going and keeps me strong. The residents and staff here at Lyons are part of my family.”
“I’ve known Lisa for a long time now, and she’s an absolute pleasure to work with,” said Connie Scott, receptionist/accounts payable. “She is the most generous person in this building, and her motto is to do something good for one person every day. She makes it something special to that person — and big or small, everything she does is appreciated so much.”
As a token of that appreciation, Director of Operations Jim Karner and Health Facility Administrator Doris Moss began planning a special trip for Stinson and her family to Disney World. Stinson’s grandson, Peyton, was born without white brain matter that never developed, leaving him nonverbal with other special needs.
“He’s an amazing kid, an amazing little boy,” Stinson said, fighting back tears. “He’s what keeps me going … how strong he is. That’s how I know I can fight this and get through it too. Even though he’s nonverbal, we know how much he loves Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. He has his stuffed Mickey and Donald and will go to the TV and give them kisses. I just know how much he will enjoy this trip, and that’s what I want more than anything in the world.”
The CarDon & Associates team made sure Stinson and her family got that trip of a lifetime.
“I’m just so thrilled Lisa has this opportunity,” Barnhill said. “I know the CarDon family went to great lengths to make this dream vacation a reality for Lisa and Peyton. That’s why I’m so glad to be part of the CarDon family. CarDon is always making residents and their families a priority, and the fact they took the time to do something like this for one of our own employees speaks volumes for how they also make their employees and staff a priority as well.”
Residing in Linton, Ind., Stinson said her parents and daughter have been a huge support to her throughout her diagnosis and treatment. And her love for her Lyons family keeps her coming back each day.
“I’ll be working at Lyons as long as I can,” she said. “Everyone here keeps me wanting to come back, whether I feel good or not. I want to be strong for them.”
“Whenever we have a resident or an associate who is having a bad day or going through a tough time in their life, who needs emotional or financial support, Lisa is always the one stepping up,” Barnhill said. “She gives more than what she should every single day. But that’s just Lisa.”