EDGE Mentee Highlight: Fighting Against Cancer With Brittany Young

Brittany Young - EDGE Mentee

Brittany Young in a nutshell: Christ-centered, family gal, twin, dog-lover, sunset enthusiast, adventurer, health fanatic with a sweet tooth, lover of the outdoors.

She’s a 2012 Butler University grad and currently, Senior Marketing Partner at InnovateMap, a product agency helping the Indianapolis tech community create more marketable, valuable, and usable software products. She’s also an alumnus of the Orr Fellowship program.

She loves spending time with her husband, Cody, family and friends, traveling, and trying new restaurants. 

Without further ado, meet Brittany, learn how she’s helping in the fight against cancer and learn how you can get involved!

Brittany thanks for joining us on the mentee highlight, to kick things us, tell us a little bit about your childhood. I hear that you grew up around baseball and cars?

My childhood was awesome. I have a twin brother (Brandon) and an older sister (Abby) and (most of the time) we got along great. My parents are wonderful and provided such a loving, encouraging, and fun home for us. We were all involved with different sports and that definitely kept us busy!

My dad, Brian Dorsett, was actually a professional baseball player. He played eight seasons in the MLB for the Cleveland Indians, California Angels, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago Cubs. I have so many great memories traveling to watch him play.

After my dad retired from baseball, I was around a lot of cars when he took over the family business. He now owns two car dealerships in Terre Haute – Dorsett Mitsubish/Hyndai and Dorsett Nissan. If you’re in the market for a car, head to good ol’ Terra Haute for a “Dorsett Deal!” Funny enough – unlike my twin brother – I never took an interest in the car business and have limited knowledge of cars in general.

You’re a Butler graduate, but after that you joined the Orr Fellowship. What was your experience like as an Orr Fellow?

The Orr Fellowship was a great post-graduate opportunity for me. I believe in perpetual improvement—both inside and outside of the work environment, and not only did I learn from other Orr Fellows and their experiences, but I also learned so much about the different host companies and professional landscape of Indianapolis.

The Fellowship also exposed me to organizations and initiatives around Indy that I had never heard of before. Jackson Troxel, a fellow Orr Fellow and EDGE mentee, is actually the one who introduced me to EDGE. He invited me to America’s Best Hope in 2014 and I applied shortly after!

I can also attribute my current career to the Orr Fellowship. Had I not become an Orr Fellow, I wouldn’t have worked at Teradata. Had I not worked at Teradata, I wouldn’t have met Mike Reynolds – my awesome boss who started InnovateMap – or my other colleagues!

What types of things are you involved with outside of InnovateMap? 

I am a strong advocate of advancing Indiana’s tech community and participate in knowledge-sharing and mentoring events like The Innovation Showcase, Fail Fest, Verge and Tech Thursday events, and the IBJ Power Series Breakfasts.

My Life Group through Northview Church is important to me. EDGE (of course!) Our group is extremely close and I look forward to our calls and get-togethers.

As of late, I am currently a candidate for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Man & Woman of the Year campaign. Each year, in communities across the country, candidates engage in a 10-week fundraising competition to raise funds for blood cancer research and in honor of two local children who are blood cancer survivors. My campaign is also in honor of my brother-in-law who is a Lymphoma cancer survivor.

Could you share how cancer has impacted your family and why you’ve decided to fight back against cancer?  

I never understood the depth of which cancer can affect someone until I met my husband Cody. He fought a rare type of cancer when he was just nine years old, and at age 10 the cancer had returned as stage IV, inoperable Hepatoblastoma. After many treatments, a wish granted by Make-A-Wish, and unceasing prayer, Cody and his family witnessed a miracle. Today, he is cancer-free and a living testament to the power of research, community, and prayer.

Two years ago, we found out Cody’s brother would fight a similar battle. Neal Young was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma at the young age of 28. It was then I experienced first-hand the physical, mental, and emotional toll cancer can have on such a strong and thriving individual.

Although Neal feels so grateful for the medical advances and growing treatment options, he knows research must continually progress. Cancer can cause many after effects and even if the treatment has ended, the recovery process often has not. For instance, part of Neal’s treatment plan included a steroid with a side effect that decreases blood flow to joints. Blood flow to Neal’s hip joints decreased drastically and the bone of his hip essentially died and collapsed. A few weeks ago, he had to have a bi-lateral hip replacement.

Former ESPN analyst Stuart Scott said, “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.” We all have the opportunity to beat cancer – whether you’re a cancer patient, survivor, family member, or just someone who wants to make a difference. I believe as a community, we must come together to collectively defeat this disease by funding the research that will one day find a cure.

How were you nominated as a Woman Of The Year for The LLS Campaign?

My EDGE mentor, Lisa Schmitz, told her cousin (by marriage) to meet me. Her cousin was the LLS Woman of the Year runner-up last year and was looking for another female candidate to support for this year’s campaign. I had coffee with her to learn more about the campaign and she nominated me. I knew this was an organization I wanted to support and wanted to challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone and fundraise for something near and dear to my heart.

Cancer is a problem that you and your husband have learned how to face. What are some tangible ways that we can get involved to support the fight against it?

My family and I would love any help from the Indianapolis community to support my campaign! All donations are used towards funding leading-edge research and helping patients and families through financial aid, education, and support groups. I have until May 14th to reach my goal of raising $50,000 – lofty, I know! 

Links To Help Brittany Raise Money And Awareness For Cancer Research

To read more about Brittany’s campaign and donate: http://www.brittany-young.com/campaign/

To raise a drink with friends and dance to some great local #Indy music to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,  check out the Music & Tech Indy event https://www.facebook.com/events/181528555563894/

Interested in becoming a LLS Campaign sponsor?? Email Brittany: Brittyoung823@gmail.com

Learn more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: http://www.lls.org

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