Nonprofit leader fights thyroid cancer | Lifestyles

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series about cancer survivors.

When Erin Campbell was diagnosed with thyroid cancer three months ago, she was determined not to let it slow her down. As a mother of three daughters—Katherine, Elizabeth and Charlotte—Campbell wakes up each day with beaming optimism and an enduring sense of humor.

She also continues to aid families as the executive director for Athens Area Diaper Bank, a nonprofit that she and several others started in October 2015. AADS provides diapers to 8,000 children of low-income families.

In January, Campbell knew something was awry when she felt two Skittle-sized lumps on her neck. A CT scan showed a cancerous tumor in Campbell’s thyroid.

“The great news about my specific thyroid cancer is that it grows slowly, and the survival rate is 97 percent,” she said.

However, because of the disease’s location, Campbell’s entire thyroid had to be removed. Before the initial thyroidectomy, a radiologist looked at one of Campbell’s CT scans and spotted several suspicious lymph nodes. After more imaging and tests, her surgery plan was changed to include removal of 18 lymph nodes. 

Campbell takes medicine to ensure that her body can function normally without a thyroid.

The surgery was the first step in beating the cancer.

For more on this story, see the June 17 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website.

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