Santa Maria firefighters have rallied around a colleague whose wife has been diagnosed with cancer as they help raise funds for the family plus spread the word about the need for blood and platelet donations, signups on the bone marrow registry and prayers.
The wife of Richard Litton, who joined the department earlier this year, has been diagnosed with leukemia. Madison “Maddie” Litton recently began undergoing treatment at City of Hope, according to online posts.
“The treatment for Maddie will entail at least a two-year journey of multiple rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. She will need to be isolated from her family and unable to care for herself and her family on her own,” according to posts on social media by Santa Maria Firefighters Local 2020.
Financial donations may be made to the Santa Maria City Firefighters Benevolent Foundation using Venmo, via @SMFFBenevolent with “Litton Family” in the memo. Donors may request a receipt for a tax-deductible donation.
The Litton family also will benefit from the 805 Firefighter Stachefest 2022, a mustache-growing contest held in November involving six area departments — Carpinteria-Summerland, Santa Barbara City, Santa Barbara County, Ventura City, Oxnard and Ventura County.
The effort is led by the Ventura Fire Foundation and also will help Ventura County Fire Capt. Jeremy Roethle, organizers said.
Maddie and Rich Litton met as fourth-graders in Camarillo, remaining friends as they grew up and graduated from Adolfo Camarillo High School in 2009, according to a CaringBridge site by her mom, Heidi Resnik.
Maddie Litton attended Cornell University and majored in enology and minored in business.
The two kept in touch, and by December 2014, they were engaged. They got married in October 2015.
Rich Litton worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a forestry technician in Montana, as a crew member for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department and as part of the Safety and Infrastructure Protection Team for Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
In February 2022, Rich Litton landed his dream job when he was hired by the Santa Maria Fire Department.
The couple have two daughters, 5-year-old Scarlett Joy and 4-year-old Ruby Ann, and continued to live among four generations of family in Camarillo.
Her family also has urged people between ages 18 and 40 to register for the bone marrow donation via Be The Match and to donate blood and platelets in honor of Madison Litton via City of Hope or locally.
Although a donation may not go directly to Maddie Litton, donations can help build the blood and platelet bank in her honor. Those unable to get to City of Hope can consider donating locally to help the wider blood shortage, her mother said.
“The Litton family would like to express their sincere gratitude and deep appreciation for the financial support,” she said. “Though certain aspects of their future are unclear, and this will be a long journey, what is clear is the abounding love and compassion from their community.”