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Thank you for being a part of the Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation’s patient community! This is a club that none of us wanted to join, but we’re thankful that you found us – and we hope that together we’ve been able to make your journey a little lighter. As 2018 draws to a close, we’d like to take a moment to share with you some of this year’s accomplishments – before we dive headfirst into 2019!
Our biggest milestone for the year was our Patient & Family Conference – “A Bridge to Wellness XX” – held June 14-17 in San Diego. The event featured two jam-packed days of stellar presentations on autoimmunity as well as all aspects of Graves’ disease: getting a diagnosis, treatment options, mental health issues, and living with thyroid eye disease. Breakout support group sessions gave patients and family members a chance to connect (many attendees had never met another Graves’ patient before), and there was plenty of social time to enjoy the great food and the beautiful scenery that San Diego has to offer! Many thanks to our event sponsors: Horizon Pharma, the Bell Charitable Foundation, and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Grant Program for making this event possible. The presentations were recorded, and we are currently working on editing the content for posting online! A few additional highlights from around the country:
- In Boston, MA, we attended the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Scientific Symposium – which also allowed us to meet local patients at a support group meeting hosted by Massachusetts Eye and Ear!
- In Washington, DC, we exhibited at the American Thyroid Association’s annual meeting and met with patients at a public forum organized by the ATA’s Alliance for Patient Education (of which the GDATF is a member).
- In Chicago, IL, we hosted a half-day patient education event in conjunction with the 21st International Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Conference. A special thanks goes out to ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc. for the invitation to participate at this meeting!
In addition to traveling from coast to coast to meet with patients in person, we’ve also built a strong community online, with our closed Facebook group reaching 1,500 participants! To join the new group, search for GDATF on Facebook, and then click on the blue “Visit Group” button. You can also visit our original moderated support forum at gdatf.org or contact us at 877-643-3123 or [email protected] for one-on-one support.
As we reflect on our accomplishments, we are also looking ahead to 2019. The GDATF has several projects in the works, including patient education events, a new brochure for patients newly diagnosed with thyroid eye disease, and a refresh on our gdatf.org website to provide a better experience for users on mobile devices.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the GDATF relies on personal contributions to continue providing critical education and support services. Please consider a donation today! Your contribution will be matched 100% thanks to a generous grant from the Bell Charitable Foundation! Contributions can be made securely on our web site at http://gdatf.org/shop/donate/ or mailed to: GDATF, P.O. Box 2793, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067.
Wishing everyone a healthy, happy New Year!
Kimberly K. Dorris, Executive Director and CEO
Nancy Hord Patterson, Founder and Chair Emeritus