Joe Plater

Joe Plater was a YouTuber and live streamer who was diagnosed with follicular thyroid cancer in 2016 and lived with stage IV thyroid cancer over the past few years. Joe sadly lost his life to thyroid cancer and metastatic disease in June 2023. We published the following tribute to our BTF patron, Joe, following his death.

Joe regularly vlogged about his diagnosis and treatment to raise awareness of thyroid cancer. Joe’s candid, eloquent, and often humorous updates, also supported many others on their own cancer journeys. He told us:

‘Despite the trials of thyroid cancer treatment I have found a way to not only help myself but also others through livestreaming. Having used it to rebuild my voice after surgery, I can now use that voice to support the British Thyroid Foundation and the work they do.’
Through his reach on YouTube he held a number of 24-hour Elite Dangerous live streams. As a result of his incredible fundraising efforts, we were able to set up the ‘Joe Plater BTF Thyroid Cancer Research Award’ in 2021. This £20,000 grant has funded a project looking at new drugs with the potential to re-sensitise the type of cancer Joe had (poorly differentiated thyroid cancer) to radioiodine treatment. 

When he learnt about this research study, Joe said:

‘It's great to hear a winner has been chosen and especially that it could benefit so many people in a similar situation to myself. The idea of taking something that can currently only be held stable at best and then making it potentially curable is an exciting prospect. Something that could potentially save the lives of thousands of people each year has to be worth looking into.
‘Targeted therapies aren't a walk in the park, you are constantly having to fight side effects from the nausea, the stomach upset to the sore feet, not having to deal with that would be amazing.’  
We are only sorry that these treatments did not come soon enough for Joe but, because of his efforts, researchers can continue to work on improving understanding of these cancers and, ultimately, improve outcomes for patients.
It was a privilege to count Joe as one of our patrons. Our thoughts are with Joe’s family and all those whose lives he touched at this sad time.