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REACT Thyroid Foundation

 Michelle's Story      

In November of 2009, at the age of 30, Michelle was diagnosed with a very rare form of thyroid cancer called Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma. The cancer had already spread throughout both of her lungs classifying it as advanced stage cancer. There is no known cure for medullary thyroid cancer and it is not responsive to traditional chemotherapy.

After researching specialists, Michelle found Dr. Marcia Brose at the University of Pennsylvania.; Although a few experimental treatments were being studied, due to side effects and impact to quality of life, the best course of action for Michelle was to monitor the cancer and continue living life until there were signs of progression.

In December of 2010 there was slight progression in a lymph node and Dr. Brose recommended starting a treatment program. In March of 2011 Michelle started on an experimental treatment designed to block the blood supply to the cancer cells and prevent its ability to grow and spread. Unfortunately, the cancer will build up a resistance to this drug and Michelle will need another treatment option. There are a few drugs currently in clinical trials that show effectiveness for approximately two years. Until an actual cure is found, Michelle will need to remain on a treatment to fight the cancer for the rest of her life.

Rather than sit back and wait Michelle decided to get involved and help in finding a cure for thyroid cancer.  In August of 2011 she created the REACT Thyroid Foundation.

REACT and ITOG Merger, December 2018

The Board of Directors would like to thank you for supporting REACT, the inspiration of my dear daughter Michelle. Her passion and initiative to help others afflicted with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) by creating REACT exemplifies her heart and selflessness.

Since Michelle’s passing, my daughter Kimberly and I have done our best to continue the good work of REACT, along with the wonderful assistance of many volunteers. We have raised over $750,000 over the years to invest in research to find a cure for thyroid cancer.

Kimberly and I have decided that the best way to keep Michelle’s legacy alive and expand the great work of REACT is to merge with the International Thyroid Oncology Group, or ITOG. ITOG is the preeminent organization that brings together the leaders in the field to develop better treatments for all types of thyroid cancer, including MTC. ITOG was inspired by another MTC patient, who like Michelle, turned her anxiety and feelings of hopelessness into action. The merger with ITOG should be effective January 1, 2019.

The REACT name and mission will be preserved with ITOG. You can continue to support the work of REACT through your existing mechanisms. You will also see greater involvement from our friends at ITOG.

Kimberly and I are confident that ITOG has the best team to nurture and execute the mission of REACT. I know Michelle would be pleased as well.

Very truly yours,

Donna LeBeau,Treasurer

Kimberly Caplea, President/Secretary

Megan McLoughlin, Vice President


REACT Thyroid Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is dedicated to creating awareness for thyroid cancer and raising funds to support research for new treatment options and ultimately find a cure.

Research - Raise funds to support the research of top doctors, scientists and institutions

Education - Increase early detection through "Neck Checks" at home and during routine doctor appointments

Action - Encourage those touched by thyroid cancer to join this important crusade

Cancer - Grow support for thyroid cancer which currently lacks the funding other cancer research receives due to its low incidence rate

Thyroid - Reduce the number of thyroid cancer cases which the American Cancer Society estimates will be 56,000 new cases in the U.S. in 2012

The REACT Thyroid Foundation was founded in August 2011 by a courageous young woman, Michelle LeBeau. In 2009, at the age of 30, Michelle was diagnosed with a rare and incurable form of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma. At the time of diagnosis, the cancer had spread to her lungs and was classified as stage 4C. There is no known cure for medullary thyroid carcinoma, or any form of advanced-stage thyroid cancer, and it is not responsive to traditional chemotherapy.


Connect With Us

International Thyroid Oncology Group

5166 Commercial Drive

Yorkville, New York 13495


Our mission
To catalyze a cure for the most challenging thyroid cancers through the collaborative efforts of our unique multidisciplinary team of leading physicians, scientists, and advocates to design, coordinate, and prioritize state-of-the-art clinical trials and correlative science.