About the Goal
This spring I decided to plan and book a trip to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, a long time dream of mine. Shortly after booking this trip I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer. I've now undergone two surgeries to remove my thyroid gland and have started thyroid hormone replacement therapy. As a result, I would like to use this trip to Kilimanjaro as a way to promote thyroid cancer awareness and as an inspiration for others who have gone through treatment as well. I will be leaving for Africa this December, just a few days before my 24th birthday.
What I Need
I hope to raise about $5k through indiegogo; half of what I raise will offset the travel costs for this trip, and the other half will be donated the Maine Cancer Foundation. (Edit 11/11/13: Due to the fact I did not meet my halfway mark, what I did make ended up being used up for equipment and other expenses, detailed in my most recent update.) Following my trip to Africa I will be having a gallery exhibition featuring photos that I have taken during my recovery and of the trip itself. It will be up for view at Stones And Stuff in Portland, Maine from March to April.*** Please read most recent update****
How It'll Help
One of the major side effects of going through a thyroidectomy (the surgery most commonly used when diagnosed with any type of thyroid cancer) is depression. I've been active on support groups for a few months now, and I notice this very common vein of other survivors getting really down on themselves, thinking they can't get over this, or that they'll never feel okay again. I'd love to use this trip as a vehicle for other thyroid cancer victims/survivors to gain inspiration and hope in their own battle against this cancer.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you know anyone going through thyroid cancer, the best thing you can do is to be positive and supportive! Some people recover slower than others, and need understanding that they may not be able to do as much as you'd expect of them. I hear the "but you don't look sick" line often, and then I have to explain that I have to get used to a new "normal".
- http://www.thyca.org/ to learn more about the cancer and how you can support others going through the battle.