Column: Novembeard -- a way to stand up to prostate and testicular cancer
We're growing our beards for the month of November. No, it's not because we're overly obsessed with Duck Dynasty, love the country group Zac Brown Band a little too much, or already sense the impending cold of the Northland. Well, some of that mi...
We're growing our beards for the month of November.
No, it's not because we're overly obsessed with Duck Dynasty, love the country group Zac Brown Band a little too much, or already sense the impending cold of the Northland. Well, some of that might be true. First and foremost, we're doing it because we think it's the right thing to do.
Ever heard of Novembeard, or Movember, or NoShavember? It's when men (and women) choose to not shave for the month of November to raise money for prostate and testicular cancer, along with other mental and physical ailments that befall men. We're raising money via the site Movember.com.
We work in the Duluth Pack factory in the West End, and there are 17 of us, including three women, who have all chosen to not shave for the month in support of Novembeard. We feel that everyone has felt the devastating effects on grandfathers, brothers, fathers, friends, uncles
and cousins, and we can all relate somehow.
One of us has a father diagnosed with testicular cancer at age 21, before children were ever a glint in Dad's eye. He survived. Another has a close friend diagnosed with testicular cancer in his 30s. He also survived. One of us had a grandfather who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in his early 60s. After a long and brave, hard-fought, all-out battle, he lost. And we lost too.
We have known people diagnosed at all ages ... young, old, fit, out-of-shape, short and tall. Cancer doesn't discriminate. It ravages the body, tears at the soul, and leaves families with the loss of loved ones. There's a hole where we once were whole.
Growing our facial hair may seem silly, and it may not seem like much. But if we can raise one dollar to help the cause, we're good with that.
Some of us are discovering that our beards don't grow in as well as we thought. Some of us are finding our beards are a little grayer than we remember. Almost all of us are remembering how much beards itch terribly as they grow.
But that's okay. Our significant others don't love it, but they understand, and they support us.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in six men will get prostate cancer. It is also the second-leading cause of cancer death in men, trailing only lung cancer. Fortunately, most men who are diagnosed with prostate and testicular cancer end up survivors. But that's not always the case.
The point is that we're not doing it to be noticed. We're doing this to help ensure that our fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins and friends don't end up being the one in six diagnosed with prostate or testicular cancer.
We're doing it because it's the right thing to do.
Ryan Hanson is a sales representative for Duluth Pack; he lost his grandfather to prostate cancer.