Toni Brown had never given her thyroid gland a second thought until it started giving her so many problems.
Now after completing radiation treatment for a cancerous lump found in her thyroid she knows all about the gland and how it has dramatically affected her life.
Most people would also be caught off guard by a thyroid condition. That’s why Brown, of Rocklin, CA, wants to spread the message that it’s important to learn about the gland and to keep it healthy.
New Disc Series Fundraiser
In an effort to raise awareness for thyroid health issues, Disc Golf United is releasing a Thyroid Awareness Disc Series that includes the XT Nova, and three Color Glow Champion models: Shryke, Roc3, and Teebird. All of the profits from the sale of these discs will be donated to the American Thyroid Association, an organization that works towards the research, prevention, and treatment of thyroid cancer and disorders. September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month.
Cancer Took Brown By Surprise
It was at a routine doctor’s exam when medical personnel found a lump on Brown’s throat, which was later found to be cancerous. The discovery took her by surprise because she was only about 39 years-old at the time and healthy.
Located below the Adam’s apple, the thyroid gland is integral to the function of your body because the hormones it secretes are vital to keeping organs like the heart, brain, and liver running properly. Along with cancer, a wide array of illnesses can occur in the thyroid.
Here's a pic of Brown playing. Her home course is at Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin.
Brown’s radiation treatments took about a year and were successful in removing the cancer. However, they were not a pleasant ordeal. For one especially uncomfortable treatment she had to quarantine herself at her house for a week, so she wouldn’t affect others with the radiation.
Though her radiation treatment is complete, she still needs to take daily medication to keep all of her systems that were once dependent on the thyroid operating properly. She also comes in for regular bloodwork to keep her hormones in check.
Though she's pleased to be free of the cancer, her body (which is now without a functioning thryoid gland) is not the same as her pre-cancer self. She has to deal with a number of frustrating issues like less energy and stamina; less concentration, a weakened immune system, and others. She has her good and bad days, but her ordeal “definitely affected my life and changed everything about it,” said Brown, a homemaker and a mother of three.
That’s why she wants more awareness of thyroid health, so people can potentially avoid the trouble that she and many others have gone through.
Disc Golf is on Doctor’s Orders for Brown
Trying to stay active, Brown plays disc golf as often as she can. Her husband, Andy, got her into it about five months ago and she occasionally caddies for him at events.
“My doctor says to keep playing because it keeps me active. It keeps me going and it keeps me healthy. I love playing, whether it’s just going to play a casual round,” said Brown.
With her diminished energy level, she can only play about nine holes, but she’s hoping to gain more strength in the future, so she can play whole rounds and the occasional tournament.
In June she told about her start in the sport when she and her husband were featured on Innova’s #LoveAtFirstFlight Social Network campaign.
After getting into disc golf, Brown said she thought it would be cool if a disc golf company released a disc promoting thyroid health awareness and contacted Innova.
With the new Thyroid Awareness Disc Series, Brown is excited about the prospect of people being more aware about thyroid illness and the need for preventative treatment.
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