Two medical students have come up with a unique way of raising awareness and funds about cervical cancer and the importance of regular screening.
They are dubbing February as Feb-U-Hairy and challenging women and men to grow leg hair from Feb. 1-28. This year will be the second year for the challenge. Last year, there were over 50 participants and almost $3,000 was raised. They hope that the success of the challenge will continue to grow.
Kathleen Callanan and Angelique Myles, both medical students at Memorial University, came up with this fundraising idea and approached Planned Parenthood as a potential partner. We received an enthusiastic response, and all funds raised will be donated to Planned Parenthood in support of their Pap clinics, said Ms. Callanan.
Ms. Myles explained that 90 per cent of cervical cancer can be prevented by regular Pap tests, but women in Newfoundland and Labrador have one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the country.
This fundraiser will draw attention to this womens health issue by engaging the public in a light-hearted challenge involving the growth of leg hair. As last year, the students also hope to use the challenge to educate participants about the importance of regular pap tests.
The concept, explained Ms. Callanan, stems from the Movember prostate cancer campaign, a successful fundraiser that encourages men to collect donations from sponsors in support of their efforts to grow a mustache during the month of November.
As a local sister campaign, Feb-U-Hairy encourages women (and men) to collect donations from sponsors in support of their leg hair growth. By going to Planned Parenthoods website, www.nlsexualhealthcentre.org
, one can access a link to the Feb-u-Hairy online registration and donation system.
A closing party for participants will be held on Feb. 28, on campus, with guest speakers and prizes.