Despite thyroid cancer being the cancer most on the rise worldwide and one of the few cancers that will have more people die of it this year than did last year, thyroid cancer receives very little funding or awareness. I was diagnosed with a rare type of follicular thyroid cancer two years ago and have learned firsthand how little research and awareness funding thyroid cancer receives and how that adds to the suffering of its victims. Even when I was receiving care from a renowned expert on thyroid cancer, he admitted that there was a lot not known and that certain things (for example the amount of radioactive iodine received and length of isolation) were not agreed upon and vary from hospital to hospital and even doctor to doctor.
Many people believe that thyroid cancer can be cured by "taking a little pill," when the reality is that thyroid cancer is not curable. The disease returns as much as 30% of the time and can metastasize to lymph nodes, bones, lungs, mouth, and the brain. Thyroid cancer patients receive life-long treatment and follow-ups and live with often debilitating side-effects. The RAI (radioactive iodine) treatment also puts patients, particularly young women, at a higher risk for breast cancer and leukemia. While most cases of thyroid cancer are treatable, 2000 people die each year in the United States alone from the disease, including Roger Ebert, Chief Justice Rehnquist, and Esther Earl, the girl whom inspired the book and movie "The Fault in Our Stars". Esther died at 16 from thyroid cancer.
Bite Me Cancer is a unique organization in that its mission is two-fold: (1) To give grants for research to find better treatments and hopefully a cure for thyroid cancer and (2) To support teenagers with any type of cancer, a typically underrepresented demographic with unique needs. Bite Me Cancer is a small non-profit with an all-volunteer staff, so 100% of your donation goes directly to either cancer research or helping a teenager with cancer. For more information, please visit www.bitemecancer.org.
Thank you so much for your support! It means more to me than words can express. Together we really can make a difference.