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To our valued community members,
Wow, what a decade the last year has been! As 2020 kicked off, the future was so bright, we had to wear shades. (Of course, we always sport protective eyewear when heading out into the elements – thanks to light sensitivity from thyroid eye disease.)
In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved TEPEZZA (teprotumumab-trbw) for treatment of thyroid eye disease in adults. GDATF Chief Medical & Scientific Officer, Dr. Terry Smith, and GDATF Physician Advisory Board member Dr. Raymond Douglas both served as principal investigator on the research that led to this breakthrough treatment option.
In early 2020, the Graves’ Disease & Thyroid Foundation was preparing to celebrate its 30th anniversary, our support group program was being revamped in hopes of reaching more patients throughout the country, a patient education event was set for San Diego, and we were preparing to attend a number of physician conferences.
But then the COVID-19 crisis arrived. Much of our work is done remotely from both coasts, so most of our educational and support efforts remained “business as usual.” We were still able to connect with the members of our community via our phone and email hotlines (877-643-3123 or [email protected]) via social media (@GDATF on Twitter and Facebook) and on oneGRAVESvoice.com – a platform created in collaboration with Horizon Therapeutics and rareLife solutions. We kept up regular production of our print newsletter and e-newsletter highlighting the latest research related to Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, autoimmunity, and thyroid eye disease (TED).
In order to fill the gap in our educational programming, we’ve hosted a number of webinars featuring experts in endocrinology, ophthalmology, and oculoplastic surgery. We currently have three webinars available for viewing on our YouTube channel (GravesAndThyroid), with two additional programs in the works.
We’ve also begun piloting some support groups via Zoom, which will transition to in-person groups when it’s safe to do so. We can’t wait to see everyone in person again, but we will look to the CDC and to local and state health officials for guidance on when it’s safe to resume face-to-face groups. In the meantime, we will continue to look for ways to allow our community members to forge meaningful connections in online settings. If you’d like to be the first to learn about new programs, please visit our website at www.gdatf.org, visit us on social media (@GDATF on Twitter and Facebook) or give us a call or drop us an email (877-643-3123 or [email protected]) to sign up for our free monthly e-newsletter.
As a small 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the GDATF relies on personal contributions to continue providing critical education and support services. We know that the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting economic downturn have been devastating for many families. If you are able, please consider a donation as part of your year-end giving plan. Payments can be made by check or credit card using the enclosed form or processed securely on our web site at http://gdatf.org/shop/donate/.
We wish you a safe and joyous holiday season!
Kimberly K. Dorris, Executive Director and CEO
Nancy Hord Patterson, Founder and Chair Emeritus