The ATF is proud to have the support of our Ambassadors.
Dominique Rizzo, along with Manu Feildel, attended the ATF “Big Breakfast” in Sydney’s Martin Place in September 2009, as the ATF Celebrity Chefs. Dominique and Manu cooked 2000 iodine enriched breakfasts for Sydneysiders on their way to work. They both cooked from 7 am until 11.30 am without one stop! Dominique and Manu had prepared over 1000 pancakes for the event, which they served with many different versions of eggs, bacon and spinach sandwiches. They were both so energetic and enthusiastic, which made the event such a fun day. Dominique has accepted an invitation to represent the ATF as an ambassador. Dominique is delightful and an advocate for the importance of the ATF health message, iodine enriched foods to support good thyroid health. As part of Dominique’s ambassadorship, she will be part of a new ATF Iodine Enriched Cookbook. This cookbook will include Dominique’s recipes, ATF members recipes and other celebrity chef recipes. The cookbook will initially be sold through the ATF and will bring awareness to the importance of including iodine enriched foods in the daily diet to support good thyroid health.
Claire became an ambassador for the ATF after her enlarged thyroid gland was notice by ATF committee members watching Sideshow, ABC TV. Claire had a goitre which was noticeable. After Claire met the ATF, her health changed for the better. At 25, Claire noticed her throat look puffy and consulted her doctor who assured her it would have been growing for a long time. Claire suffered glandular fever at 17 and did not manage stress very well at the time. Claire also had a sudden change to a high soy diet, a year before she noticed the goitre. These are all reasons Claire believes contributed to cause her thyroid problem.
After 5 years of procrastination, noticing how restricted her windpipe had become and with support and education from The ATF, Claire decided to have surgery during a film break in 2007. Claire cannot believe how much better she feels. Claire believes her endocrine surgeon is “the best endocrine surgeon in Australia.” Claire attended The ATF “Big Breakfast” events in Sydney’s Martin Place in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Claire’s humour and personality attracted Sydneysider’s on their way to work. Claire encouraged passing pedestrian traffic to enjoy an iodine enriched breakfast at the ATF marquee.
During 2005 Big Brother “Friday Night Live”, a doctor watching the show noticed a lump in the region of Bree’s thyroid gland. He was concerned enough to try and contact Bree through the show, without success. One year on, the doctor had a patient who knew Bree through Big Brother. The patient passed on the doctor’s advice for her to get her thyroid gland investigated. Bree believes without Big Brother, the persistence of the doctor, Bree’s outcome may have been totally different, as she had no idea she had a thyroid problem.
Bree was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. After two operations and radiation treatment, Bree has recovered extremely well. Bree credits her ongoing good thyroid health to the support and education she receives from The ATF. Bree has accepted her Ambassadorship with open arms and wants to do whatever she can to help The ATF and raise awareness of our important health messages. Bree has spoken at ATF thyroid information sessions, Thyroid Awareness Week launches, Fundraisers and is always available whenever she is asked.
Many members of Bree’s family have thyroid disorders and she has become a campaigner to them with all the information she has received from The ATF.
Kamahl was introduced to The ATF by our medical advisor, Professor Leigh Delbridge in 2005. Kamahl had a total thyroidectomy after becoming seriously ill and diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid gland which had put his life in turmoil. Kamahl could no longer sing and was very unwell, also being diagnosed with sleep apnea, which seemed to be related to the size of his thyroid gland. After surgery, Kamahl had a complete recovery, his voice now better than ever. Kamahl is a fine example of how proper diagnosis is so important and Kamahl has made a full recovery. Kamahl is a wonderful ambassador to The Australian Thyroid Foundation Ltd. Kamahl attended the ATF 2005 Thyroid Information Day at Parramatta and delighted the audience by singing his favourite song to show us all how his singing voice had returned and had improved following surgery.
Ex Parramatta Eels Premier League Player
Michael became an ambassador to The ATF after Parramatta Eels Rugby League Club 2005 Community Awareness Program chose The ATF to be their beneficiary. It was a great shock to hear a young Parramatta footballer was diagnosed with thyroid cancer after a blow to the neck during a football game. Michael’s voice became very husky, so tests were ordered resulting in thyroid cancer. After having his thyroid totally removed and radiation treatment, Michael has recovered extremely well and has continued with his football career. That lucky blow to the neck probably saved Michael’s life without it, it would have not been diagnosed and Michael’s life may have been in danger. Michael helped The ATF sell Gold Bows at a home game at the Parramatta which was a great success and televised on The Footy Show. The Eels also presented The ATF with a donation following fundraising events organized by the club. Michael has gone onto become a father and is now playing rugby league in the UK.
Antoinette was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid disease in late 2019, after a viewer saw her on Network 10’s morning show, Studio 10, and wrote a comment on the program’s Facebook page asking if Antoinette had ever had her thyroid checked, as she thought the lump in her neck was concerning.
As the viewer who sent the message wasn’t a doctor, Antoinette and her Editor initially shrugged it off. However, after re-watching the Studio 10 clip in question, Antoinette was shocked to see a lump on her neck that she hadn’t previously noticed.
With a family history of thyroid cancer and thyroid disease, Antoinette went to see her GP to be checked out. After undertaking blood tests, an ultrasound and a CT scan, her doctor confirmed she had a thyroid autoimmune disease – but also revealed she had a large cyst just above her voice box, which needed surgery.
Antoinette’s doctors told her that while the cyst was benign, if they hadn’t caught it at the time, it would have likely impacted her “ability to breathe, speak and swallow if left untreated”. Antoinette has now had the cyst removed and is extremely grateful for the viewer who brought the issue to her attention.
Photo credit: Network 10
Jess was diagnosed with thyroid disease in 2018, after presenting to her GP with what she thought were symptoms from a previous diagnosis of glandular fever a few years before. After running tests to confirm Jess had thyroid disease, her doctor also discovered she had a ’15cm-long tumour in her throat and neck’.
Her doctors suspected the tumour (thyroid nodule) had been there and growing for over 10 years, and although it was found to be benign, they recommended Jess have it removed. After more than four hours in surgery, Jess’ thyroid nodule was removed.
Thankfully for Jess, her health scare and experience gave her the push to change her life. This led to her decision to sign-up for the 2019 season of MasterChef. While she didn’t win the competition, Jess is continuing to pursue her cooking dreams and is the founder of Well Fed, which makes Australian handmade cultured compound butters. She now works in the food industry full-time.
Tel: +61 (0) 447 834 724
PO Box 36
Narellan NSW 2150
The mission of The Australian Thyroid Foundation Ltd (ATF) is to offer support, information and education to members and their families through the many services provided by The ATF and raise awareness about health consequences of iodine deficiency and the benefits of good thyroid health.