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Meet Anita Hubbard of Love Your Thyroid Foundation in Southlake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anita Hubbard.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
On Valentine’s Day in 2013, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The peculiar part of my initial reaction to being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and even through the first set of treatments I received, is that I treated it all as fairly inconsequential. I had been told that this was the “good cancer” to get. I had convinced myself that this would be easy to resolve and move on from, and I was focused on doing just that. About a month prior to receiving my diagnosis, I went to see an ENT about a recurring sinus infection. During this appointment, the doctor palpitated my neck and discovered a large, visible nodule on my left thyroid lobe. Shortly thereafter, I underwent a few tests of the nodule, which resulted in my receiving a cancer diagnosis. The cancer had not only infected my left thyroid lobe, but also my right thyroid lobe and many of the surrounding lymph nodes in my neck. After surgery to fully remove my thyroid and lymph nodes, I received a dose of radioactive iodine that forced me to be away from my three-year-old daughter for nearly a week. About two years later, shortly after I gave birth to my second child, my doctor noticed a firm, enlarged lymph node on the left side of my neck.

The cancer was clearly still in my body, so I underwent a radical left neck dissection to remove the infected lymph nodes. The recovery from this surgery was far more difficult than my first surgery, causing severe pain, numbness, and drains in my neck that prevented me from being able to even hold my newborn son. It wasn’t until this point that I started to realize how life changing my cancer diagnosis was going to be, how not “good” thyroid cancer is. I was being robbed of time with my children, living a normal life and now left to contend with finding a new normal, which I was wholly unprepared to do. It wasn’t until after I finished my second round of treatments that I finally had time to process what I had just gone through. I was all of sudden dealing with a lot of uncomfortable emotions that I originally dodged and avoided during my treatments, both in 2013 and in 2015, because I was so focused on just surviving.

I learned that my story is not unique, in fact, the instance of diagnosis of thyroid cancer is rapidly increasing, yet it remains a massively misunderstood disease and egregiously underfunded in research. This inspired me to create the 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Love Your Thyroid Foundation, with the mission to create a disruption in our perception of thyroid cancer being the “good” cancer and bringing more awareness and research to the prevention, management and cure of thyroid cancer.

Has it been a smooth road?
Unfortunately, no, my path to creating my non-profit, the Love Your Thyroid Foundation, not a smooth road. I went through a period of time where I profoundly struggled with maintaining a career as an executive of a software development company and being a mother to two young children, all while trying to beat and recover from persistent metastatic thyroid cancer. Even with the unconditional support from my husband, family and friends, it was just so hard. I came to a crossroads where I had to choose to spend my time and priorities on the things that are really meaningful to me.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis, and enduring the resulting treatments, emotions, and acceptance that this is a chronic disease I have to manage, grounded me in a very essential way. It forced me to make the hard, but right decision, to redirect my time and attention from my career to raising my young family, taking care of my health, and using my expertise to establish and run my non-profit in hopes to make a difference in the world of thyroid cancer.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Love Your Thyroid Foundation – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The Love Your Thyroid Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit on a mission to change the perception of thyroid cancer being a “good” cancer and bring more awareness and research to the prevention, management and cure of thyroid cancer. We want to make thyroid cancer commonly known. Thyroid cancer is one of the most rapidly increasing cancers in instance of diagnosis and one of the few cancers where the mortality rate has not decreased. These statistics are impactful, and the understanding of how to detect and treat thyroid cancer has to become part of our standard conversation, just as it has with other types of cancers.

The more we can discredit this notion of thyroid cancer being the “good” cancer, the more we can raise awareness and education about this disease and follow that with funding that is needed for critical research and clinical trials. In less than 2 years of incorporation, we have already raised almost $40,000 for thyroid cancer awareness and research. I am, personally, so honored to have the opportunity to share my experience, bring light to this disease and help raise funds for thyroid cancer research. The greatest rewards through this journey have come from the unexpected generosity and support of our friends, family and community and the ability to connect with, and hopefully positively impact, fellow thyroid cancer survivors.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city.
I was born and raised in Dallas and continue to live in the Dallas area with my family, so I may be biased, but I think that the Dallas Fort Worth area is an exceptional place for non-profits. The business landscape of our city is very diverse and talented and there are so many resources available for people starting up any type of business, especially a non-profit. My greatest inspiration and motivation to tie up my expertise to a philanthropic cause came from interacting with various non-profit and for-profit leaders in our local community.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Family picture – My Heart in Print Surgery picture – Anita Hubbard Event pictures – Kimberly Daniell

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