ONE Gunnedah local is urging the community to take the time to think about their health in light of National Thyroid Health Awareness Week.
Gunnedah’s Kate Johnson after conquering her own thyroid and potential cancer scares is bringing the issue of thyroid health into the light.
“I guess the one thing I want to really put out there is that this can impact anyone regardless of age,” Ms Johnson said.
“When I first realised there was an issue was when I was trying to loose some weight after turning 30 and that weight loss brought the issue up and probably saved my life.
“Had I not lost the weight, I would not have realised there was something wrong around my neck and the goiter I had may not have been detected.”
Ms Johnson said she had been guilty of not prioritising her health.
“I think a lot of us just push on and tend to ignore our health a bit,” she said.
“I had for long time just focused on work and everything else that goes on in life.
“From there I think I just sort of got used to how things were and it became normal and I didn’t think there was anything wrong.”
The Gunnedah property manager told The Namoi Valley she hopes to be an advocate for thyroid health awareness in the community.
“I think I have always tried to be a good role-model in my work and life,” she said.
“Having been through what I have been through in the past 12-months or so, I feel like I have been given a second chance and I need to do something with it.
“If I can inspire one person who is dealing with health issues to reach out or to get checked out by a doctor then I think it will be a positive.”
Ms Johnson had her thyroids surgically removed earlier in the year, drastically reducing her risk of having cancer in the future.
“I had some scans done and the came back completely benign, cancer-free, and now there’s no risk of them coming back because they’ve been removed,” she said.
“That was a huge relief because had I left it, they would have eventually turned cancerous.
“It’s scary to think that inaction on my part could have had serious consequences.
“Early intervention is key, so if anyone has any health issues it’s so important to get them looked at early as they can lead to much worse down the track.”
National Thyroid Health Awareness Week runs from May 21-27.
For more information on thyroid health visit www.thyroidfoundation.org.au
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