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Dr. N. Karen Thames

Together, WE are EPIC!!!!

About Me

My name is Dr. N. Karen Thames. I am a licensed clinical psychologist. I am also the founder and Executive Director at Empowering People with Invisible Chronic Illness or the EPIC foundation.

I graduated with my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) in 2005. I worked in private practice settings until 2011. Finally in the year 2011, symptoms that I had been experiencing for several years were explained by a diagnosis of a rare life threatening illness called Cushing's disease... this after years of actively seeking answers. I miraculously happened upon a show called Mystery Diagnosis on the Discovery Channel that showcased rare illnesses of real life patients who took many years to be diagnosed; I finally knew what had been wreaking havoc on my body for years! An episode of a woman who almost died from Cushing's disease caught my eye and there it was... my answer! Cushing's disease is caused by a pituitary tumor on the base of the brain ultimately causing the body to produce an excess of the stress hormone Cortisol. I went from an extremely high functioning vibrant woman to a person who was completely non-functional and ultimately completely bedridden. After two surgeries, including brain surgery in 2011 and the total removal of both of my adrenal glands in 2013, I now live with Addison's Disease/Adrenal Insufficiency which is - ironically - another rare life-threatening illness on the other end of the spectrum.

I am completely dependent on medical steroids to stay alive especially during times of stress, but even stress can cause a life-threatening event and can be fatal. So, I consciously and mindfully live every day of my life - not only to stay alive but also to live a life that is filled with purpose!

I want to take my skills along with my personal experiences and use them to make a difference in the world. I have a vision to bring people together to support one another and to share our stories to empower others. I founded the EPIC Foundation (Empowering People with Invisible Chronic Illness (EPIC), an organization seeking to provide those living with chronic illness and their loved ones with advocacy, support and tools of empowerment.

The Empowering People with Invisible Chronic Illness (EPIC) foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that seeks to empower those living with chronic illnesses. Our mission is to provide the emotional support, advocacy, and tools to empower chronically ill patients and caregivers to thrive!

Personally, I enjoy spending time with my husband of almost 18 years and our two daughters, ages 9 and 16. They are the joy in my life! I am classically trained as a vocalist and perform occasional voice recitals for my loved ones and open to the public.

I believe that every woman out there has the power to thrive through any situation! That power lies within you alone, but...

Together, we are EPIC! ~ Dr. Karen a/k/a Doc Karen

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