Thyroid

Thyroid - Art Print by Dunaway Smith

Imaginary Anatomy Series # 6

I have several important women in my life that have struggled with thyroid issues. My mother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 32. It typically targets young women, during their childbearing years. Thankfully, surgically removing the thyroid completely removed my mom’s cancer. I was 2 at the time. I remember sitting in her lap and running my finger along the scar that goes around the base of her neck. I always thought of it as a pale and permanent necklace. She jokingly called it her Frankenstein scar.

I made this piece to celebrate the thyroid, an unsung hero of the human body.  Most people don’t even know where the thyroid is or what it does. It’s a butterfly shaped organ at the base of the neck. It regulates hormones, which in turn control the metabolism, heart functions, the digestive system, muscle control, moods, bone maintenance and brain development. Essentially, it controls the body’s use of energy, the internal fire that keeps all our cells properly functioning.