Anita Hubbard

Anita Hubbard

Iota Sigma, Southern Methodist University

 

“I didn’t have a choice about being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, but it has certainly provided me with a more meaningful life,” says Anita Hubbard. “Through the difficult moments of suffering and overcoming this illness, I developed a unique and deep empathy for others who are struggling with this disease, which is what compelled me to start up this nonprofit.”

Now in its second year, Hubbard’s nonprofit Love Your Thyroid Foundation aims to raise awareness and funds for thyroid cancer research. Although it is one of the fastest growing cancer diagnoses and one of the few cancers without a decreasing mortality rate, thyroid cancer is regarded as a “good” cancer, which is a notion Hubbard hopes to change. She explains that the need to spread awareness of the cancer pushed her out of her comfort zone by compelling her to tell her own story.

“I was suddenly forced to reckon with many uncomfortable emotions I originally dodged during my treatments because I was so focused on just surviving,” she explains. “What I have learned, however, is that my story is not unique, and thyroid cancer is a misunderstood disease in great need of awareness and research funding, and I am grateful for the opportunity to try to make a difference in the world of thyroid cancer.”

This past Valentine’s Day – exactly five years after Hubbard’s initial diagnosis – the Love Your Thyroid Foundation’s fundraising event exceeded its goal, raising more than $28,000. While running the nonprofit, Hubbard has met survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals who walk alongside her. The importance of a network of support is something she learned from Alpha Chi Omega.

“Alpha Chi Omega…gave me invaluable lessons in how to effectively execute charitable work in a community and the massive difference a group of real, strong women can make,” she says. “My experience with Alpha Chi Omega, through all of the philanthropic work as well as my lifelong friendships with my sisters (going on 17 years now!), were the stepping stones to gaining the courage I needed to establish and incorporate my own nonprofit.”


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