BENEFITING: Prostate Cancer Foundation
EVENT DATE: Jan 01, 2016
Unfortunately, we all know someone who has been affected by cancer. I used to be one of the “lucky” ones who only knew of distant relatives or friends of friends who had faced this disease. That all changed in 2014 when someone very close to me (he wishes to remain anonymous, so we’ll just call him “my friend”) was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Luckily it was caught in the very early stages, and after treatment my friend has made a full recovery and is currently cancer free. However, according to studies by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, it is estimated that somewhere from 20-30% of men will relapse after a period of 5-years and show signs of disease recurrence. If my friend happens to be one of the unlucky ones, I want there to have been considerable advances in the knowledge and treatment of this disease so we have some heavier gloves for the second round fight. We live in an era of unprecedented growth in the fields of biomedicine and medical technology. While these breakthroughs have the potential to heal and better the lives of millions, they require monetary investment in scientific and clinical research. Having worked in a biomedical research lab for the last 2 years, I’ve seen just how expensive the research can be and just how precious every dollar is.
When I heard of the diagnosis, I immediately started thinking about what I could possibly do to make a difference. I knew I wanted to start a fundraiser and make a donation to a cancer research charity, but to hopefully attract some attention and pique interest I wanted to add a “challenge” element. Some people choose to hold a 24-hour dance marathon or a charity concert/contest to raise money, but those didn’t really seem right for me (being kind of lazy and not very talented). No, when I was brainstorming what kind of personal challenge was right for me, a different kind of idea hit me: do nothing.
I made a resolution for 2015 that I would stop shaving and grow my facial hair out as far as I could. A full year-long-beard: a Yeard. I was clean shaven on New Year’s Eve 2014, and haven’t touched a razor since (aside from one small neckline trim after the first couple months). At first, the meager patches of fescue that were sprouting from my face were hardly worthy of donation, and I seriously considered abandoning my mission a couple times during the first months. Eventually my beard grew on me, and I ultimately decided it was best to wait for a little while longer for it to grow and blossom, not unlike a majestic butterfly.
Today (July 1 2015) marks my beard’s official half-birthday, and it is finally old enough to fulfill its destiny. That’s where you all come in. I come to you my friends, friends of friends, distant acquaintances, anyone touched by cancer to ask for your help. From today through the end of 2015 I hope to raise $643 to donate to prostate cancer research. Now, you might be asking yourself, “Gee, $643 seems like a pretty random number, how did he come up with that?” Well I’m glad you asked! The idea is that for every $__ dollars raised, I will keep my beard for another day. That dollar amount increases each month from now through December, starting with a meager $1 for July! $1/day in July, $2/day in August…$6/day in December. You get the idea.
Once you break it all down…(Dollars per day) X (days in the month)
$31 dollars for all of July, $62 for all of August, $90 for September, $124 for October, $150 for November, and $186 for December
And add it all up… The grand total is $643.
I will be “checking-in” monthly for the first five months, and then daily during December to see if the deadlines are met:
Deadline to shave: August 1st. Total money needed: $31
Deadline to shave: September 1st. Total money needed: $93
Deadline to shave: October 1st. Total money needed: $183
Deadline to shave: November 1st. Total money needed: $307
Deadline to shave: December 1st. Total money needed: $457
Daily check-ins December-January 1st Money needed: $6/day
Even if the money falls short at one of the deadlines, I will still leave this page up to collect any straggling contributions after the funeral ceremony for the beard. At the end of the fundraiser, whether it results in me shaving my beard before 2016 or enough money is raised to sustain the full 2015-Yeard, whichever donor has given the most will have the right to decide what to do with my beard for a day. You can make me shave it, give me a Wolverine chops, shave half of it and make me walk around like two-face for a day, dye it green, whatever your creative heart desires.
Thank you to all who support the cause, be it monetarily or in spirit. Let it grow.