How Thyroid Cancer Canada Got Started

Thyroid Cancer Canada was started in 2000 after some Canadian women participating on an American online forum realized their commonality. These women had a few conversations off-line, and those who lived in the Toronto area met a few times over coffee. The first in-person meeting of these thyroid cancer survivors, some of whom became the founders of TCC, was held on May 7, 2000.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead, 1964

In the fall of 2001, the TCC founders attended a meeting at a Toronto hospital with others working in the field of thyroid disease, including doctors, representatives from a thyroid foundation and reps from pharmaceutical companies.  The main focus of the meeting was to look for ways to offer support to Canadian thyroid cancer patients.  After this meeting, the TCC founders who attended decided to meet again and formalize their own group.

The first formal meeting of the TCC founders occurred in Kingston, Ontario on January 19, 2002.  Interestingly, on the agenda for that first meeting were some items that have remained priorities.  They looked at providing credible information to thyroid cancer patients in the form of printed material and a website. They also set out to offer support and information in various ways such as by telephone, email, online, and through hard copy publications. They discussed advocacy issues and the support of thyroid cancer research. Soon after the meeting the TCC founders started an Online Forum, which was modeled after the American one where they had first met.

They also decided on a name for their group.  A friend of a group member suggested that they not refer to themselves as “survivors”, but rather as “thri-vers”, since they were and still are thriving despite having cancer.   They coined the spelling of “Thry’vors” as a combination of three words – thriving, thyroid and survivors. Although the organization has recently changed its name to Thyroid Cancer Canada, TCC will continue to refer to its members as Thry’vors.

Soon after our first official meeting, TCC applied for and received designation as a not-for-profit organization (incorporation of a corporation without share capital; also known as Letters Patent).

We became a not-for-profit group on January 29, 2002 (registered in Ontario).  Additionally, on July 7, 2003 TCC's application to Canada Revenue Agency was accepted, and we became a Canadian registered charity.

In 2006, Liana Keller and her flight instructor, Bob, parachuted from 12,500 feet over the Fraser River, BC.  Liana was celebrating almost three years free of thyroid cancer after having been treated with surgery, RAI and 6.5 weeks of EBR (33 treatments) in 2004.

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