Nancy is a real champion of raising awareness of thyroid disease, particularly thyroid cancer. Nancy was our BTF Chair of Trustees for many years and continues to be involved with our work.

In 2004 aged 26 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and underwent surgery for a total thyroidectomy and partial neck dissection. Up until I was diagnosed I had no recognisable symptoms and was fairly fit and healthy. I never smoked and drank relatively little. 

After surgery, I then underwent two rounds of radioactive iodine treatment to mop up any stray cells left behind from the extensive surgery. This meant I was kept in a room and no one could go near me! It meant I learnt to make a bed!

Following tests in the early start of 2005, to confirm the success of the treatment, they informed me that the results showed cells still present and that metastasis was probably in a lymph gland somewhere in my body. As of yet this still hasnʼt been located.

My family and friends were amazing and their support helped us through so much. Without them (and my husband Andy) I donʼt know how I would have got through it. Although I was chirpy and positive from first being told, it was on the bad days when I was most grateful. After I went back to work I struggled for quite a while working full-time and found part-time helped allow me to rest. I enjoyed working in Human Resources (HR) and my experience prompted me to further my career in this industry.

On 3 January 2011 I went to see my GP as I was under the weather with general tiredness and gaining weight, worried my levothyroxine was not working as it should. I spoke to the GP and we were very surprised to discover I was 12 weeks pregnant!

As I was working on a temporary contract when I went on maternity leave it meant I had no job to return to and when our son (Harvey) was eight weeks old I went to help a friend in his company. He was wanting to complete a disciplinary procedure but had no idea how to go about the process.

This gave me an idea and my Human Resources company - Doodle HR - was born. It is now a limited business and has recently moved to bigger (proper!) office premises.

I donʼt feel at any time ʻIrisʼ (what I named my cancer so it wasnʼt as scary) has stopped me doing anything. If anything it has made me more determined to show that this thing cannot control you and doesnʼt stop you following your dreams.

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