ThyCa NEWS NOTES – February 2010

In This Issue

Dr. Michael Karl To Speak on February 13, 2010

We are pleased to announce that Michael Karl, M.D., will speak and answer questions about thyroid cancer treatment and testing on February 13, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the first meeting of the new North Miami Dade ThyCa Support Group.

The free program and meeting take place at Jackson North Medical Center, Second Floor Auditorium, 160 Northwest 170th Street, North Miami Beach, Florida.

Dr. Karl is Associate Professor of Medicine and Chief of Endocrinology at Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. He is an active member of the Center for Endocrine Diseases and Endocrine Tumors at Jackson North Medical Center. His areas of clinical expertise include the treatment of thyroid cancers.

Before joining FIU, Dr. Karl was a physician-scientist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is a longtime supporter of ThyCa, and was a speaker at ThyCa’s 9th Conference, held in Orlando, Florida, in October 2006.

The seminar is open to the public. The volunteer facilitators of the meeting and support group are Maxine Poupko and Fran Goodstat. For information about the group and meeting, e-mail or visit the group’s web page.

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ThyCa To Award Two New Research Grants in 2010

In 2010, for the eighth year in a row, ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. will award new grants for thyroid cancer research.

Each new grant will be for 2 years. One grant will support research on follicular-cell-derived thyroid cancer, including papillary, follicular, anaplastic, and variants. The other grant will support research on medullary thyroid cancer.

The ThyCa Research grants are open to all researchers and institutions worldwide.

An independent expert panel of the American Thyroid Association (ATA) will select the grant recipients. ATA is the professional association of clinicians and researchers concerned with thyroid diseases. Deadline for the initial applications was January 31, 2010. The review and selection process will continue for the next several months.

Our generous donors make these grants possible. More research for cures is urgently needed, You are helping us all move toward our goal of a future free of thyroid cancer.

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My StoryBy Vivian Scott of Seattle, Washington

In late 1999 I had my annual appointment with my gynecologist, who did the obligatory feel around the neck and then said, “You have a nodule on your thyroid.”

Okay. I had two fine needle biopsies, and was told I was okay, not to worry about anything, probably nothing.

A few months went by and I had this nagging feeling… so I went back and insisted that the nodule be removed.

The first surgery removed half the thyroid. When I went back in for my post-operative appointment on April 6th, 2000, the surgeon hadn’t received the pathology results. He asked me to wait in an examining room while he asked the lab to fax the information. I heard the fax machine. I heard him walk into his office next to the examining room. Then I heard pages being frantically turned.

He then came in and told me I had medullary thyroid cancer and that I needed to have my teenage daughter tested immediately because many cases are familial. We immediately scheduled the second surgery for the complete thyroidectomy and neck dissection for four days later. I went to pick up my daughter from school, shocked and stunned.

I found ThyCa on the Internet and, even better, I found ThyCa’s Medullary Thyroid Cancer E-Mail Group. Heaven! I heard from other “meddies” how to get genetic testing, what to look for, what to ignore, and basically how to take control of my own destiny.

Well, here I am nearly 10 years later. I still suffer from lupus, I still get my calcitonin draws, and I still check the box about cancer on forms at the doctor’s office, but none of that is my main focus. I focus on well-being and being well.

I also know that when I was newly diagnosed and feeling stressed, having any sort of trouble at work was simply overwhelming. I am a certified mediator, and recently I wrote a book, “Conflict Resolution At Work For Dummies.” In a future newsletter, I’ll share some workplace tips based on the book.

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Megan Forgie To Run for Thyroid Cancer Awareness

On Sunday, May 2, 2010, Megan Forgie will run in the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to increase awareness of thyroid cancer and raise funds for ThyCa. Megan is running in honor of her husband Matt, a thyroid cancer survivor.

“Our goal is to raise awareness!!” Megan writes. She adds, “Annual physicals are so important in detection. That is how Matt’s cancer was initially discovered. We are so blessed his was caught at an early stage due to a simple annual physical. As you know, he had his entire thyroid removed and underwent the Radioactive Iodine Treatment (RAI), which gave successful results. Now it is a matter of regulating his thyroid hormone replacement levels and getting through his scans.”

Thank you for your terrific efforts and support, Megan and Matt.

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Thank You for the Gold’s Gym Fundraiser

Thank you very much to Michelle Dougan of New York for organizing the Gold’s Gym Thyroid Cancer Day to raise Awareness and Funds in Liverpool, New York, on January 23. And also for organizing the dinner fundraiser the next day. Your effort on behalf of all people dealing with a thyroid cancer diagnosis is greatly appreciated.

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Volunteer in the Spotlight:Meet Natalie Pegg

Natalie Pegg is new to ThyCa but not to thyroid cancer. She was treated for thyroid cancer six years ago. Originally from North Dakota, she lived in Nebraska for eight years. Two years ago, she and her husband, who serves in the Air Force, moved to Dallas, Texas. She works for a food broker, in customer service.

Natalie discovered ThyCa’s web site through a link on a Facebook page. She was pleased to learn that there was a local support group near her. She was also excited to hear that the 2010 Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference will take place in Dallas, Texas, on October 15-17, 2010.

She attended the January meeting of the ThyCa Dallas Support Group. At the meeting, she picked up flyers to publicize the 2010 Conference, as well as flyers for the support group. She plans to give the flyers to her doctor at her next appointment, as well as to others in her community.

She also contacted ThyCa by e-mail and offered to volunteer in further ways. She’s now helping with the advance publicity for the conference, by compiling contact lists of faith communities in the Dallas area so that they will receive announcements about the conference. Many people hear about ThyCa through their clergy and congregations.

Welcome and thank you, Natalie!

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Coming Soon: Free ThyCa Cookbook’s Expanded 7th Edition

We’re starting to put together the next edition of the Free Low-Iodine Cookbook. We’re excited to have so many delicious recipes to share. Thanks very much to everyone who’s already contributed such great new recipes! Your recipes will be available to everyone around the world. To everyone who hasn’t yet contributed, if you’d like to share a new recipe (your own, or a family favorite, not from a copyrighted source), please send your recipe to or

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What’s New on the Web Site?

Some of the latest additions to include the Young Adults E-Mail Group signup instructions, the 2010 Rally for Research letter, Quarters for a Cure, the 2010 ThyCa Fact Sheet, Spring Workshop dates and locations, more Conference 2010 information, the 2009 Conference Report, and links to two more thyroid-related organizations in the United Kingdom.

Our web site has more than 650 pages of content. More than 50 distinguished physicians plus numerous other specialists provide ongoing input and review of the medical information. We greatly appreciate the wonderful support of these medical specialists.

We update and expand the web site every week. Thank you to our Web team, Betty Solbjor and Joel Amromin; our Publications Committee members; and our Medical Reviewers.

Visit often for the latest information updates, the schedules of local support group meetings, and news about special events, or to get involved.

Let us know if you have ideas for additional web site content, as well as additional questions to be answered by physicians. E-mail your ideas to This is our web site, and it benefits from everyone’s contribution. It’s also a great way to start being involved!

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Cancer Is Not Funny, But –By Pat Paillard

If you have an amusing or not-so-serious story about something that happened to you on your journey with thyroid cancer, just send it via e-mail to We may publish it in a future newsletter. Maybe we can all benefit from a little laughter and sharing our experiences with others.

My Experience

I had a very interesting ride with my thyroid cancer. I live in Roxborough, a suburb of Philadelphia, and decided I would go to a hospital in Center City. It was December when I had to go and have my radioiodine scan. I had to go by bus to downtown Philadelphia.

My tracer dose of RAI was given to me on December 7, 2005. I was scheduled for a whole-body RAI scan two days later. Well, wouldn’t you know it, just my luck, the day of the scan we had a big snowstorm. Thankfully, my sister works downtown and knows her way around. She insisted on accompanying me on the ride downtown. Thank goodness!

The trip is normally about a half hour. But with the snow and ice it was quite different. We had to take a detour. At one intersection, another bus was stuck on the ice. It blocked the whole intersection. There we sat!

All I kept thinking was that I would be late for my appointment at 8 a.m. and wouldn’t be able to have the scan. After quite a while just sitting there, my sister suggested that we get off the bus and walk to the next bus stop.

We walked through deep snow and found the next bus stop. It turned out to be 8 long blocks away. I don’t know how I managed it, because I was very tired, had no energy, was very hypothyroid (TSH of 100), and very cold.

After the ride on the next bus and a short walk, I made it to the hospital. I was almost 2 hours late. However, due to the weather the staff understood and did the scan. Everything else went as planned and I was able to enjoy the holiday.

I can laugh now when I think of us trudging through the snow, but at the time it wasn’t at all funny.

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Low-Iodine Recipe of the MonthContributed by Nancy K.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg white
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp sage
Pinches of noniodized salt, garlic, and pepper
1 Cup finely chopped pecans

Lightly beat the egg whites and spices together. Experiment with the spices — I really liked the ginger with the pecans, but you may have another spice that you like better. Dip the chicken breasts into the egg whites and then coat with the pecans. Place the chicken on a foil-lined cookie sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray. Cook in a 350 degree oven for one hour. Enjoy with your favorite pasta or veggies.

Nancy writes, “This is a recipe that I made up for myself. My whole family really enjoyed it. I’m really thankful for the cookbook — it is a true gift!”

Thank you, Nancy! We’ll include this recipe in the next edition of the FREE Downloadable Low-Iodine Cookbook.

Download the 6th edition of the Low-Iodine Cookbook for free, with more than 250 favorite recipes from more than 100 generous volunteers. The Cookbook is also available in Spanish and in French. Please remember, while you’re welcome to download and print the entire free low-iodine cookbook, you can also print just the pages you need.

This free cookbook is a wonderful help when you’re preparing to receive radioactive iodine for treatment or testing. All the recipes are favorites of some of our ThyCa volunteers, who are sharing them with everyone, to make the low-iodine diet easy and tasty. The recipes are also great for family meals and for potlucks, any time.

If you’d like to contribute your favorite recipe or tip to the cookbook’s next edition, send it

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Do You Live in the Greater Dallas Area?

As you know, your community is hosting the 2010 Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference. We hope that you will come, and look forward to meeting you there.

And we’d like to extend another special invitation to you, and your family and friends.

From now until the start of the conference, we need your help in spreading the word to everyone in your local community about the 2010 Conference. Reaching everyone in the community is especially important, because this year’s conference will have easy access for everyone nearby.

Please help spread the word! We’ll mail you free flyers, or you can download them from We’ll send you tips on how to share them, to help publicize the conference.

We also have model announcements and other publicity aids, for e-mail, blogs, Facebook pages, newsletters, and other communication pathways.

To volunteer to help, just e-mail to Or fill out the form on our Conferences page. . We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you!

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You’re Invited To Become a Member

Help us sustain, strengthen, and extend our services. We invite you to join ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

Your membership dues will support ThyCa’s efforts to reach and serve other survivors and their families around the world. You may join as a 1-year member ($25), 2-year member ($45), or lifetime member ($225). For our secure online Membership Form and our mailed Membership Form, go to our Membership page.

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Events Preview 2010

  • Every Month in 2010. ThyCa’s Thyroid Cancer Support Group Meetings in Your Community. More than 80 local support groups in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, and Philippines.
  • Saturday, February 13, 2010, North Miami Beach, Florida. Dr. Michael Karl will speak about thyroid cancer care and will answer questions at the meeting of the ThyCa North Miami Dade Support Group, starting at 10 a.m. Free. For details, read the article at the beginning of this newsletter, and visit the group’s web page:
  • Saturday, April 17, 2010. Kansas City, Missouri. 6th Midwest Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Workshop with Physician Speakers. Sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. At St. Joseph Medical Center, Community Center for Health and Education, 1000 Carondelet Drive, Kansas City, Missouri. Free.
  • Saturday, May 22, 2010 (date still subject to change). Baltimore, Maryland. 9th Annual Mid-Atlantic Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Workshop with Physician Speakers. Sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. Free.
  • Saturday, May 29, 2010. St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Newfoundland and Labrador Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Workshop with Physician Speakers. Sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. Free.
  • ‘2010. More Free Seminars and Workshops with Physician Speakers, sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. Details will be posted on  
  • June 4-5, 2010. Rockville, Maryland. Hypoparathyroidism Patient Conference, sponsored by the nonprofit Hypoparathyroidism Association (, which is listed on the Links page on the ThyCa site. There will be physician speakers. Conference Location: Rockville Hilton Hotel. For details, visit the Hypoparathyroidism Association web site.
  • September 2010. Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. Plus year-round awareness campaigns. Visit the Raise Awareness Page to download free flyers, or request free awareness materials.
  • The 13th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference
    October 15-17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas
    Sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.
  • The 9th Annual Dinner/Auction Fundraiser for Thyroid Cancer Research.
    October 16, 2009 in Dallas, Texas
    Sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

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Thank You From ThyCa!

We believe that no one should have to be alone when facing thyroid cancer.

Our free support services are offered with this as our main goal. We thank everyone for giving your time and talents to making possible our free services, publications, and events.

We’re grateful to you for reaching out to others worldwide, to help connect them with ThyCa’s many free support services and educational resources.

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Every Day…

Every day, thousands of people with thyroid cancer, and their families, receive support, education, and hope from ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

Every day, numerous people distribute ThyCa outreach materials to their physicians, making them aware of a resource that can benefit their patients dealing with a thyroid cancer diagnosis.

Your generous support is what makes it possible to sustain, strengthen, and expand our services and outreach. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation online in support of ThyCa’s work (or you are welcome to donate by mail), so click here to give.

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Ask ThyCa

If you have questions about thyroid cancer, please send them to and we’ll answer your question in an upcoming newsletter as well as adding to our web site content.

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Your Ideas?

What sections of ThyCa’s web site do you find most helpful?
What suggestions do you have for ThyCa’s web site?
E-mail your answers and ideas to

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Copyright (c) 2010 ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

Thank you to our writing, editing, and proofreading team for this issue of the newsletter: Leah Guljord, Nancy K., Pat Paillard, Vivian Scott, Barbara Statas, Cherry Wunderlich, and Gary Bloom.

Your suggestions for articles are welcome. The deadline for articles and news items is the first day of each month.

Please share ThyCa News Notes with your family and friends. For permission to reprint in another electronic or print publication, please contact us at

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (tax ID #52-2169434) of thyroid cancer survivors, family members, and health care professionals.

We are dedicated to support, education, and communication for thyroid cancer survivors, their families, and friends, as well as to public awareness for early detection, treatment, and lifetime health monitoring, and to thyroid cancer research fundraising and research grants.

Contact us for free awareness materials and information about our free services and special events. E-mail, call 1-877-588-7904, fax 1-630-604-6078, write PO Box 1102, Olney, MD 20830-1102, or visit our website.