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[p]My story [/p][p]25th May is International Thyroid Awareness Day.[/p][p]I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2016. It is a chronic condition caused when the thyroid stops working and can be very debilitating. I had an awful time with my illness for about 8 years before I obtained a diagnosis. As a keen runner the crippling fatigue was the hardest thing about the condition I had to deal with. I went from running marathons to not being able to get to the 1km mark without stopping. I also suffered extreme brain fog symptoms, could sleep for hours and still feel tired, was unable to control my blood sugar and put a lot of weight on, my cholesterol was high, my face was swollen and I was bloated with painful IBS. [/p][p]Over the past 4 years, through charity support and information events, awareness raising and advocacy initiatives, I've met many fellow patients to realise that there are a lot of people with thyroid conditions who are still really suffering, either because they do not have the information and support they need to be able to manage their condition effectively. In some cases NHS treatment options that could help them are being withheld due to unclear guidelines and poor cost management of old generic medicines. [/p][p]The Thyroid Trust has helped take a leading role in addressing this unfair situation and we are making progress. The Thyroid Trust is still a very new and small charity and if it doesn't raise more money over the next few months it might not be able to survive, which would mean thousands of patients like me will not receive support they need for their thyroid condition. [/p][p]Thanks to charities like the Thyroid Trust and fellow patients I have met through the charity I have the right medication and treatment for my thyroid condition. I am able to run and that has kept me sane through the lockdown days. So, I will use my permitted exercise hour, from midday to 1pm on 25th May, to dress up and emulate a butterfly, because the thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland and I will run 10km across London to landmarks spelling THYROID and take a selfie at each one… Have a guess which ones! Hopefully it will make people smile and raise some money for a charity that has had a huge impact on my life. [/p]