$500K raised during No-Shave November

The 30 days in November are dedicated to raising awareness to all types of cancer. Since 2009, the official No-Shave November project has raised over 10 million
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 9:34 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The month of December brings holiday cheer as families celebrate the season, but it also means those winter beards are coming off and No-Shave November officially comes to an end.

While a lot of people put down the razor in November and grew beards or mustaches, there’s more to the movement besides a scratchy face. The 30 days in November were dedicated to raising awareness to all types of cancer.

“Cancer is an issue, cancer is a problem and we need to be on the same team as people going through it,” UNMC Pediatric Cancer Professor, Dr. Don Coulter said. “You have to think about how it’s going to be perceived at your workplace, you have to think about how your spouse is going to perceive it. You’re joining in with people that are going through this and don’t have a choice as to what their facial hair or regular hair looks like while they’re going through chemotherapy.”

According to the National Cancer Institute, there were over 18 million new cases of cancer in the world in 2018. That number is expected to be nearly 30 million by 2040.

“It’s not something that we want to talk about, it’s a sad subject but then there are a number of people who suffer in silence,” Dr. Coulter said. “You can walk around with a beard that you’ve never had all year long and people will ask why you’re doing that and suddenly you’re having a conversation about cancer.”

According to the official No-Shave November project, over $500,000 was raised by 1,123 members and 396 teams in November 2022. The American Cancer Fund led the way, raising $53,466. Since 2009, the project has raised over $10 million, but Dr. Coulter said the awareness is priceless.

“To understand that somebody cares enough to put themselves through this process to try and show that they are advocating that they’re on the same team, that they’re aware of what people go through when they have cancer that is a huge positive for these families and specifically for these kids to see that people care.”

While it might just be looked at as a little more fuzz on the chin, it’s really helping others and possibly changing a life.

“You’re doing a massive amount of work to raise awareness by growing a beard and then being honest with somebody why you’re doing this,” Dr. Coulter said. “Cancer matters, cancer is something that we should discuss and understanding the ways to take care of people who have a chronic disease like cancer, that is important.”

The efforts still continue and there are a number of ways you can help the cause no matter the month. The Nebraska Cancer Network has a full list of organizations making an impact in the state of Nebraska.