News at Medicine - February 2015 - Feb-U-Hairy campaign is a hair-raising event


Feb-U-Hairy campaign is a hair-raising event
February 13, 2015
It’s going to be a hairy month in St. John’s as the sixth annual Feb-u-Hairy campaign has begun. Medical students in the Faculty of Medicine and Planned Parenthood launched this year’s campaign recently and introduced new opportunities for people to participate, contribute and spread the message about cervical cancer and pap screening.
 
In past years, Feb-U-Hairy challenged women to grow leg hair for an entire month. This year, everyone is invited to join the challenge and grow out hair anywhere, from your armpits to your moustaches. Participants can also contribute by shaving or waxing something at the end of the month. The goal is to collect donations from sponsors for shaving or growing out hair.

Academic assistants Brittany Lennox and Jonathan Ford worked hard to extend this year’s campaign to the students in the residence community. As an incentive, teams will earn points towards the annual Winter Carnival event held on campus. One point will be awarded for every $100 raised and each team can earn a maximum of five points. So far, six residence halls have registered teams. Other teams this year include LBGT MUN and MUN Med Class of 2018.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer for women in Canada. It is also one of the only cancers with an available screening tool -- the pap test. Unfortunately, only 67 per cent of those eligible for tests have them. The campaign’s main objective is not only to raise funds to facilitate pap tests in the province, but also to raise awareness about cervical cancer and the importance of screening.
 
Kathleen Callanan, a medical student at Memorial University and one of the Feb-u-Hairy creators, says the campaign has raised close to $20,000 since it first launched in 2009, with all proceeds going to support the Pap Screening Clinics at Planned Parenthood and ongoing sexual health education programs. This year, over $1,280 has already been raised in the first week.
 
"I think the big difference this year is the strong dedicated campaign promotion and organization by Anna Smith and the strong focus on education and awareness by Alicia Cox," Ms. Callanan said. 
 
Alicia Cox works with Planned Parenthood; she has been doing several sex education and pap education presentations within the residence houses and elsewhere.
 
Anna Smith joined this year’s campaign as the event/fundraiser co-ordinator and she hopes to talk about the campaign to anyone who is willing to listen.
"We can combat stigma, shame, and a lack of resources with real conversations that open up space for healthier communities," she said. "I believe that, if we do it right, this year's Feb-U-Hairy has great potential."
 
On Friday, Feb. 13, there will be an event at the Breezeway; all are invited to attend. The event will feature information tables as well as a drag performance by Dr. AndroBox.
 
For more information about Feb-U-Hairy, the challenge and access to the online registration and donation system, please visit http://febuhairy.dojiggy.com. You can also interact with the campaign through their Facebook event, and accounts on Twitter and Instagram.
 
A closing party for participants will be held on March 4 on campus with guest speakers and prizes.