ThyCa News

ThyCa News Notes - November 2014


In This Issue:

ThyCa to Award New Thyroid Cancer Research Grants in 2015: Open to Researchers Worldwide 

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association Inc. is proud to announce the 14th year of our research grants program, with grants open to researchers and institutions worldwide. We have already awarded 47 grants to researchers in 5 countries. 

ThyCa will award new grants for thyroid cancer research in 2015. One new grant is for research on follicular-cell-derived thyroid cancer (papillary, follicular, anaplastic, variants). Another new grant is for research on medullary thyroid cancer.  

The third new grant is for research on any type of thyroid cancer. It is named The Ric Blake Memorial Thyroid Cancer Research Grant, in memory and honor of ThyCa co-founder Ric Blake. 

ThyCa invites everyone to join us in our quest to find cures and new treatments for all thyroid cancer. Thank you to everyone who contributes to our Research Funds. Together, we’re making progress toward our dream of cures for all thyroid cancer. 

To find out more about the ThyCa Research Funds, the annual Rally for Research, and how to donate, Click Here. 

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The Story of the Thyroid Cancer Colors 

Why do we represent thyroid cancer with three colors? 

The Awareness Ribbon Pins, Magnet Ribbons, and ThyCa graphic all display the three colors: deep blue-purple, pink, and teal. The Pantone Colors and numbers for the ThyCa logo are pink (238), blue-purple (266), and teal (3252). 

The 3 colors were selected more than 16 years ago by thyroid cancer survivor Cherie LC, a ThyCa volunteer. She chose the colors to represent the throat energy center, spiritual influences in healing, and teal as a healing color. 

The 3-color combination emphasizes that there are different types and situations with thyroid cancer and that it affects people of all ages, from young children through seniors.

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. Throughout the year, we can all show and wear our colors proudly. Get free materials and tips on our Raise Awareness page. 

Thank you for raising awareness of thyroid cancer and helping connect people with our free support, events, and publications.

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Get Free Thyroid Cancer Handbooks & Low-Iodine Cookbook by Download, ePub, or Mail from ThyCa 

Our free medically reviewed thyroid cancer handbooks and Low-Iodine Cookbook are packed with helpful information. They’re available to you in three convenient formats. 

Download them from our web site in PDF format, get them as ePubs (search “ThyCa” on iTunes or Googleplay), or ask us to mail you a copy. 

We also mail them in bulk to medical professionals, free of charge, to give to their patients. Our web site has the order form.

Thank you very much to our Medical Advisors, other specialists, and thyroid cancer survivors and caregivers who wrote, edited, and reviewed these publications.

  • Thyroid Cancer Basics. 50 pages on all types of thyroid cancer. Now available in 5 languages: English, Chinese, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. 
  • Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer. 40 pages. 
  • Medullary Thyroid Cancer. 50 pages. 
  • Low-Iodine Cookbook, Available in English, 7th Edition. 120 pages with more than 340 recipes, plus guidelines for the temporary low-iodine diet provided by thyroid cancer specialists and research dietitians. Also available in French (3rd edition), and Spanish (5th edition). 

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FDA Plans Priority Review of Lenvantinib for RAI-Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer (Papillary, Follicular, Variants) 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a priority review designation to lenvatinib for treating differentiated thyroid cancer that does not respond to radioactive iodine. The FDA’s final decision regarding approval of lenvatinib will be made by April 14, 2015.

The FDA based its decision on data from the SELECT clinical trial. 

Read more and listen to Marcia Brose, M.D., Ph.D., a ThyCa Medical Advisor, discuss this drug as well as sorafenib for treating advanced differentiated thyroid cancer.

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Priscilla’s Salsa and a Donation in her MemoryBy Doug and Heather G.
(Priscilla was Heather’s Mother) 

I found the site very helpful as my mother was going through her battle with Anaplastic thyroid cancer a year ago.  The information pages on each type of cancer were helpful as I was educating myself, and also the letters/stories from other caregivers helped me have hope and prepared us for the processes to come…ThyCa was a big help, and is why I chose to donate.  Thank you. 

About our donation: We live in a small Iowa town 12 miles south of the capital. For the past three years we have had a small market stand at our local farmers market. We primarily sell produce, canned goods and honey. 

I was always very close with my mother who was an old farm gal. Over the years I learned to garden, can, and cook from her, so, it was a natural choice to take her homemade salsa recipe and use our home grown produce to raise awareness about thyroid cancer.  

We sold three different sizes of salsa to entice different customers. My mother's cooking was well known in the area so it was an easy sell once they heard it was her recipe.   

We sold the salsa the last week of August and all through September to recognize the awareness month. We donated 100% of the salsa sales.   

Funny side story: My mother, as every good cook, has about a million places to hide recipes, so it took me 2-3 days to find the salsa recipe. I experienced lots of tears and great memories looking through something as small as a recipe box. 

Thanks for letting me share our small story.

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ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association Accepted into the Combined Federal CampaignThyCa's CFC # is 11675 

Funds Raised Will Support Research, Education, and Support

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Association has again been accepted into the world's largest workplace giving campaign. 

Federal civilian, postal, and military employees are able to choose ThyCa as a recipient of their workplace donations through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). 

This federal employees’ charitable giving campaign raises millions of dollars each year for thousands of nonprofits providing health and human services throughout the world. 

"Being part of the Combined Federal Campaign helps ThyCa provide needed services and research funding to support those who are touched by this life-altering cancer," said Gary Bloom, Executive Director. “Thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers that is increasing in incidence. It’s extremely important to strengthen and expand support services for those affected by it, as well as to increase research to find cures for all thyroid cancer.” 

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ThyCa Spirit Items Make Great Gifts 

Our pins, shirts, bracelets, notecards, and more make terrific holiday gifts!  And, if you're in need of more cold weather gear, our Spirit items include these hats pictured below and a cozy fleece lap blanket. Proceeds benefit our support services and Thyroid Cancer Research Grants. Click here to order.

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Students Raise Thyroid Cancer Awareness
By Mary Sharp, Student Council Sponsor,
Bradley Central Middle School in Illinois

Thyroid cancer became part of Bradley Central’s world when one of our own was diagnosed this summer. Bradley Central Middle School is in Illinois. 

Lauren, an excellent student, state champion cheerleader, student council vice president, and all-around great role model, is now in the midst of treatment for this often little-known cancer. 

Lauren has maintained a great attitude throughout the initial thyroid removal, secondary surgeries to remove affected lymph nodes, and the low-iodine diet needed for preparation for her radioactive iodine treatment. Her true character has shone through it all. 

She and one of her close friends, Kiley, planned an awareness night at one of the girls’ basketball games at Bradley Central. With the help of the student council, of which both girls are part, they raised funds for thyroid cancer research and awareness. 

A committee formed from members of the student council met several times to get ready for the evening. They decorated the outer lobby and concession stand areas in teal, pink, and purple. They made a bulletin board called Colors for Lauren. 

They distributed literature provided by ThyCa. They tie-dyed purple, pink, and teal shirts and threw them into the crowd during the game. They made special hair bows in the same colors for the girls’ basketball players to wear. A basket was put together and raffled off to raise money. The committee made t-shirts to wear that day with “colors for Lauren” on the back.

Throughout the week at school, they also sold cards to raise money for the cause.  In addition, the student council sold teal, pink, and purple spirit beads to be worn to school that day and at the game. 

Our event was a great example of what young people are able to do for each other. 

(Editor’s Note: We wish Lauren the best of success with her upcoming radioactive iodine treatment. And, we applaud the efforts of these wonderful young people to make a difference not just for their friend, but for all thyroid cancer survivors!) 

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Cancer Gave Me Grace 
By Alyssa Rosenheck
November 19, 2014 

With Thanksgiving almost a week away, I want to share my experience with thyroid cancer and what it gave me, rather than what it took away. 

Cancer gave me the time and space to recreate my world with the people I love most.

Since having been diagnosed at the beginning of the year and now on a healthy cancer-free path to recovery, there will always be a gentle reminder every day when I look at my scar to bring intention to my life and the lives of others, to be surrounded by warmth and kindness, and to reciprocate understanding and love. 

My thyroid cancer has given me the courage to continue to pursue my passions regardless of how scary those dreams may be. Today, I am seven months cancer free and my thoughts and prayers continue to go to those fighting the good fight. 

I am forever grateful for my friends, family, and husband. It was the love of my life and his discerning eye that recognized my tumor and saved my life. I am forever grateful and words can't even express the love and appreciation I have for everyone in my life. 

(Editor’s Note: Alyssa wrote to ThyCa, “Thank you for providing a wonderful resource for those who have thyroid cancer. I often reference your site from my initial diagnosis through post treatment.”)  

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Free Materials Now in 7 Languages 

The 50-page handbook Thyroid Cancer Basics is now available in 5 languages: English, Chinese, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. 

We also have materials in French and Japanese. Download them all from our web site. 

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Thank You to our Toll-Free Number Volunteers! 

Our special thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers who handle the calls to our Toll-Free Number (“TFN”). We opened our toll-free telephone line in 1999, to give telephone support to people coping with thyroid cancer in themselves and loved ones, as well as respond to queries from medical professionals and the media. We also respond to requests for materials to our TFN. 

Thank you very much for your wonderful service, to Ann, Barbara, Candy, Claudia, Daria, Evelyn, Karen, Lelia, Lesley, and Sonya. And thank you to Karen Ferguson and Evelyn Gross, directors of this important support service. 

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Shopping through AmazonSmile Benefits ThyCa 

When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association Inc. Bookmark the link and support us every time you shop. 

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Free Seminar in New York on November 9 

Endocrinologist Stuart Morduchowitz, M.D., will be the guest speaker at the meeting of the ThyCa Long Island Support Group on Sunday, November 9 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Abby Melendez facilitates this support group. 

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Free Seminars in Brockville, Ontario on November 18 and December 16 

On Tuesday, November 18, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the guest speaker at the meeting of the ThyCa Ontario, Canada, Support Group will be Leslie Groves, pharmacist from Brockville Rexall. She will discuss taking and storing your thyroid medication, different types of thyroid medications, and uses and interactions of supplements (e.g., calcium) with thyroid medication. Judy Fielding and

Lee Ann Irwin (RPN) facilitate this group. 

Clara Irobi, M.D., Endocrinologist, will speak and answer questions about the types of thyroid cancer and other thyroid diseases on Tuesday, December 16th, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the meeting of the ThyCa Ontario, Canada, Support Group. Judy Fielding and Lee Ann Irwin, R.P.N. facilitate this group. 

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Welcome to the New Support Groups in Maine and Texas 

New local support groups have started in Portland, Maine, and Cameron County, Texas. Thank you very much to Jonathan Trott and Aidee Matamoros, for starting these groups.  

For details about these and all the local ThyCa support groups, visit our Support Groups page. 

ThyCa Local Support Groups are now available in six countries: United States in most states, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Philippines. 

If you’d like to start a group, you’ll find the e-mail contact for our Support Groups Director on that same page. We’re glad to provide training, materials, and resources to help new groups get started. 

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Low-Iodine Recipe of the Month: Microwave Brownie-in-a-Mug
Contributed by Dawn B.

Dawn writes, 

“Your cookbook has been very useful for me, and I wanted to pass on a recipe that is making a real difference for my sweet tooth this time (my second time around on the low-iodine diet). The hardest part of this diet is finding time to make every single thing, and while I love desserts, making a cake after also making my breakfast, lunch and dinner isn't so appealing. Which is where brownie-in-a-mug comes in!” 

4 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

Mix in a microwavable mug, microwave for one minute, and enjoy a single-serving brownie!

Thank you, Dawn! We will include your recipe in the next edition of ThyCa’s FREE Downloadable Low-Iodine Cookbook. 

Free and Downloadable: Click on the Cookbook link on our home page to download the 7th edition of the Low-Iodine Cookbook in English for free, with more than 340 favorite recipes from more than 150 generous volunteers. 

The Cookbook is also available in Spanish and 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. 

To contribute your favorite recipe or tip, send it to

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Follow Us 

The power of joining together online, or face-to-face in our support groups, workshops, conferences, and webinars is immeasurable. 

To all of you, our friends, fans, followers, volunteers, advisors, supporters...Thank You!  

Our support of each other — whether giving or receiving — is an incredible gift. Thank you for joining us. 

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Your Donations at Work 

Thanks to your generous donations, both small and large, ThyCa provides free support, educational events throughout the year, free publications to patients, caregivers, and medical professionals around the world. 

We’re shipping individual and bulk free handbooks, awareness materials, pediatric backpacks, and more to people in 114 countries. 

We have awarded 47 thyroid cancer research grants, including 6 grants in 2014, and in all, totaling more than $1.3 million dollars! 

An example of a recent fundraiser was Gabriel who participated in the Los Angeles Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon sporting his ThyCa shirt. Thank you, Gabriel, for heightening awareness and raising much needed funds for all of us. 

Together we can work toward our dreams of a world free of thyroid cancer. 

Help us strengthen and extend these services, programs, and research funding. Visit this page for details on how to help. Thank you!

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About this Newsletter and ThyCa
Copyright (c) 2014 ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc. 

This newsletter and ThyCa’s many other services and thyroid cancer research grants are made possible through the generous contributions from our donors and volunteers. Thank you! 

We invite everyone’s contributions, small or large, financial and volunteer service. Together we make a difference! 

Thank you to our writing, editing, and proofreading team for this issue: Kristy F., Doug and Heather G., Leah Guljord, Pat Paillard, Alyssa Rosenheck, Mary Sharp, Barb Statas, Theresa Wickerham, Cherry Wunderlich, and Gary Bloom. 

You’re invited to share this Bulletin with your family and friends. If you would like to suggest further topics or contribute an article, please contact us at information is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended, nor should it be interpreted, as medical advice or directions of any kind. Readers are advised to consult their own medical doctor(s) for all matters involving their health and medical care. 

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (tax ID #52-2169434) of thyroid cancer survivors, family members, and health care professionals serving people worldwide and dedicated to education, support, communication, awareness for early detection through Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month and year-round campaigns, and fundraising for thyroid cancer research. 

Visit our website for information about thyroid cancer, events, and how to help. Ask us for free materials and information. E-mail to call toll-free at 1-877-588-7904, fax 1-630-604-6078, write PO Box 1102, Olney, MD 20830-1102.