Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page. I’m climbing the Yorkshire Three Peaks in August for the British Thyroid Foundation to raise awareness of thyroid disorders, and to say thank you for providing information and support when I’ve needed it.
To say that my thyroid has given me a bit of hassle over the last few years would be an understatement. When I tell people that I have a thyroid disease, people usually ask one of two questions: “what does a thyroid even do?” and/or “where even is it?”
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck, which stores and controls the production of hormones that affect the function of nearly every major organ in your body. Problems can include a thyroid being over- or under-active. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (which is a poorly-named over-active thyroid disorder) in 2016 after failing to spot some of the most common symptoms for maybe a year. These include:
- Increased heart rate & palpitations
- Losing weight with increased appetite
- High body temperature
- Changes in the appearance of your eyes (Thyroid eye disease, which is then a whole other ball game)
So, when your thyroid isn’t working properly, it throws you completely and it can be difficult to even function. If an over-active thyroid is left untreated, it can be fatal. Therefore asking someone if they have “the one that makes you skinny or the one that makes you fat” is a huge trivialisation that won’t go down well!
There are no concerete reasons as to why thyroid conditions develop, but around 1 in 20 of us will have some sort of thyroid disorder during our lives, and 1 in 50 women will develop Graves Disease.
However, thyroid disease is very treatable once diagnosed and controlled. After initially trying to fix my thyroid with medication, it still didn’t quite behave and so I decided along with my doctors that it was better out than in. I’ve just had a thyroidectomy to take the bugger out, which I’m pleased to say was successful. This means I’m now permanently under-active and will take a synthetic thyroid-hormone for the rest of my days, but this is a much better (and disease-free) position to be in.
The British Thyroid Foundation provide help and support, information and guidance, to people affected by thyroid disorders, and I want to show my appreciation by raising money so they can keep doing what they are doing.
I’d also like to give a general shoutout to the NHS and everyone that works for them - it’s a selfless and sometimes thankless task, but they are always there when you need them.
Finally, I’d like to say thank you to a few special people. My wonderful boyfriend Jason, who’ll be joining me on my trek, has been so supportive and amazing throughout this whole thing, and I couldn’t have done this without him. Thank you, my darling. My Mum and big sisters have also been fantastic and always there when I needed them the most. And to my girls, for being so understanding and generally just bloody amazing. Thank you!
Now, if you’ve read this far down my sob story, please please donate what you can to a really worthy cause.