Dr. N. Karen Thames, PsyD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Founder and Executive Director of The EPIC Foundation
Dr. N. Karen Thames graduated with her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2005. She worked primarily in the private practice setting with specializations in trauma, women’s issues, marital therapy, and personality disorders. Dr. Karen offered therapy to individuals, families, and couples. She very much so viewed her profession as a fulfillment of her God given purpose in life.
Several years ago, Karen began having symptoms that could not be explained including unexplained rapid weight gain, muscle weakness, memory loss, and the sudden onset of diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. She even became completely bedridden. After being increasingly ill for five years, Karen discovered that she had Cushing’s disease after watching an episode of Mystery Diagnosis on the Discovery Channel which featured Cushing’s. This is an illness that is only diagnosed in 3-5 of every million people. She had fought so hard to get an explanation about what was wrong to no avail. However, after discovering she had the same symptoms as the Cushing’s patient on Mystery Diagnosis, Karen asked her local endocrinologist to start testing her. With hesitation, he finally agreed and she did, in fact, have Cushing’s disease. Dr. Thames sought treatment from a team of specialists in Seattle, WA at the Seattle Pituitary Center due to their expertise; on November 16, 2011, she had life changing brain surgery in which a tumor was removed from the left side of her pituitary.
After one year of remission after brain surgery and going through a grueling recovery, Karen learned that Cushing’s was back. A recurrence of Cushing’s was confirmed by several more months of testing. After weighing all available options, Karen moved forward with having a Bilateral Adrenalectomy on August 21st, 2013, in which both of her adrenal glands (which sit on top of the kidneys) were removed. This was her last resort cure, finally, from Cushing’s disease! However, now Karen is left with a lifetime of Adrenal Insufficiency (Addison’s disease) and is steroid dependent for life. She must follow strict maintenance in order to avoid adrenal crises, which can lead to a fatality. Dr. Karen believes that beating Cushing’s, though a difficult decision, made this choice worth it.
Dr. Karen is inspired to be a voice for the voiceless. As a warrior in this battle, she realized how we can feel like we do not have a voice and that no one is listening. It can be quite traumatic!
Several years ago, Dr. Karen made the decision not to return to private practice. She began putting the ideas of an organization on her vision board.
In 2011, Dr. Karen said, “I want to encourage others to fight for their lives and to never give up.” During this time, Dr. Karen didn’t even know if she would be alive the next day, let alone if she would be able to live up to this declaration. However, she had a dream and visualized this dream every single day. She knew that it would be EPIC!
Today, that dream has come into manifestation! Dr. Karen is thrilled and excited to be a voice for those who feel that they do not have a voice! She was once told that visualization is ten times more powerful than willpower! She always had the will to start a nonprofit! The VISION, though, is the reason why she finally gave birth to The EPIC Foundation! She always says that she started The EPIC Foundation “with just a laptop and a dream!”
Dr. Karen is the Executive Producer on the Cushing’s documentary film series: “Battleground Stories: The Indomitable Fight of Cushing’s Warriors”. She felt inspired to use her skills to give back to the community that has given so much to her. She believes in the power of connectedness and is proud to be an advocate! Dr. Karen also has a series of educational videos on YouTube both on her personal channel here: http://www.youtube.com/drnkarenthames and on the foundation’s YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSctRmcwpIf-ohwS8dLiycw?view_as=subscriber
Dr. Karen has also used her platform to increase awareness of Cushing’s disease and to encourage others with her story. She felt fortunate to interview f or CUTV News Radio with Doug Llewelyn (from the People’s Court and Co-Creator of Judge Judy) for their empowered women’s series.
This is the link to the first interview: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/closeupradio/2019/10/23/cutv-news-radio-spotlights-dr-n-karen-thames-psyd-of-the-epic-foundation
This is Dr. Karen’s second interview with Doug Llewelyn: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/closeupradio/2019/12/11/cutv-news-radio-welcomes-back-dr-n-karen-thames-psyd-of-the-epic-foundation
Additionally, Dr. Karen has been named an influencer and recognized by various prestigious organizations. Her Alma mater, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, honored Dr. Karen for her continued advocacy of chronic illness warriors and caregivers in this article: https://www.thechicagoschool.edu/insight/for-our-wellness/from-private-practice-to-advocate-for-the-chronically-ill/
Dr. Karen was acknowledged, by the International Association of Women (IAW) and by their spokesperson Star Jones, as an influencer, which was a high honor: http://business.dailytimesleader.com/dailytimesleader/news/read/38821781/international-association-of-women-recognizes-dr-n-karen-thames-as-a
Dr. Karen is immensely grateful for every opportunity to achieve her vision of helping chronic illness warriors and their loved ones.
Dr. Karen can be reached via e mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 888-862-5554 Ext. 700 Toll Free