Interview with a Thyroid Cancer Survivor: Joan Shey womenshealth.gov
Interview with a Thyroid Cancer Survivor: Joan SheyChances are, you don’t give too much thought to your thyroid on a daily basis. Joan Shey didn’t, either, until she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She survived the cancer, and then started the Light of Life Foundation to educate people about thyroid cancer. Learn more about your thyroid and how it affects your health.
Joan Shey has been a thyroid cancer survivor for 17 years. In 1997, while in recovery from her thyroid surgery and radiation treatments, Joan created the Light of Life Foundation for thyroid cancer patients to create a support and education network that was not available at the time of her diagnosis. She asked the doctors who saved her life to join her mission. Together, they began distributing gift baskets to patients in isolation, organized support groups, held informational seminars, and sold merchandise to fuel awareness and raise funds for thyroid cancer research. Under Joan’s direction, the foundation, an independent 501(c)(3), has grown into a national and international network of patients and physicians who are bringing attention to the importance of this disease.
In addition, Joan supports a fellowship program in thyroid cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and now has added the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center to the funding program. She also created a Light of Life Facebook support group.