Let It Grow


Juliette Fournier

No Shave November is a month long commitment that many participate in to raise cancer awareness.

Juliette Fournier, Photojournalist

Despite the unbelievable modern medical advances that scientists have been able to achieve, many are still yet to be made. One in particular has been prevalent, a solution to cancer, since cancer cannot officially be cured yet. It is able to be treated but is kept under control rather than being fully eliminated. Unfortunately,  unlike a modern cold, cancer cannot be treated within a few days. The worst part is that not everyone survives such these deadly diseases. In fact, about 22,000 people die from cancer every year. Every November, in order to raise cancer awareness, both men and women can make the commitment for No-Shave November or Movember.

This tradition has been around for many years. At first, it was more targeted towards men than women. Men would make a month-long commitment to not shave their beards or mustaches in order to bring male cancer awareness, mainly prostate cancer. However, it has recently become available for both men and women to participate. Both genders would let their hair grow out rather than shaving in order to “evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness” (Matthew Hill Foundation). People who participated could donate the money they usually use for shaving towards charitable organizations. These organizations use the money they receive for cancer research and helping people who are battling cancer.

One family, the Chicagoland Hills, started an online nonprofit organization to further promote Movember. It was founded by eight siblings who all work collaboratively to run the website no-shave.org. The idea came to them when their father died of colon cancer. Their mission? To increase “cancer awareness and raising funds to support cancer prevention, research, and education.” They work nonprofit organizations including the Prevent Cancer Foundation,  Fight Colorectal Cancer, and St. Jude Research Hospital. Since 2015, they have been able to raise $2 million towards their cause.

Here at YLHS, students participate too. One student, Allie Vas (12) shared that she and some of the girls’ varsity water polo team took part in this commitment. Originally, she had the idea from a friend of hers who had participated the year before, and Allie “thought it was so cool. It meant that [she] didn’t have to worry about shaving… for a month which was kind of nice.” Some of the team joined in as well, which Allie describes as being “really helpful for games because the other teams would get distracted by it.”  Allie has already planned to participate this year, along with some of the girls’ varsity water polo team. In fact, she encourages other students to participate, not only for the cause, but also because “it was just very fun… it’s a nice way to be included in something that is traditionally for boys.”

Both men and women of any age can help those who struggle with cancer whether it be by donating money normally used for shaving, or by simply putting down that razor for the rest of November in order to raise awareness.

Source: MatthewHillFoundation