zac-nov. 4 Alright folks. I’m going to do it. Something I’ve never done. Ever since my patchy beard started to grow in, I’ve kept it neat and trimmed.

This month…. Things change.

I, along with thousands of people around the world, am taking part in No-Shave November. I’m already 8 days in (my neck is starting to drive me crazy though! Lol), but I am pledging to keep that razor off my face until December 1.

What is No-Shave November you ask? No-Shave November is a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness.

The concept is simple, grow awareness by embracing your hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.

Over the last few years, I’ve seen Facebook posts from friends participating but I’d never really taken the time to learn about the cause. Now that I know it’s to support cancer research and awareness, I feel that I must be a part of this conversation.

As a nurse, I take care of patients suffering from all kinds of illness and disease, but cancer is something that affects us all. Someone you love, someone in your family, your friend, your neighbor, or maybe even you personally, has battled cancer. Many people have triumphed over cancer, while many others have tragically lost their lives to this deadly disease.

No-Shave November has been a tradition for many years, but it wasn’t until the fall of 2009 that members of the Chicagoland Hill family decided to use it as a means to raise money for charity. It was a project that held special meaning to the eight Hill children after their father, Matthew Hill, passed away from colon cancer in November 2007.

Since then, they’ve been able to grow their non-profit web-based organization through the tremendous power of social media and with each passing year, the organization is generating exponential growth and awareness.

I’ve joined the fight and ask you to do the same. You don’t necessarily have to grow out your hair, you could help spread the word about No-Shave November or simply make a donation to the cause.

You can log on to https://www.no-shave.org and learn more about the cause. You can even go to my member page https://www.no-shave.org/member/zacwoodruff and make a donation if you’d like.

This year, more than 80% of all money raised during No-Shave November goes directly to the American Cancer Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Let’s all be a part of finding a cure for cancer. With movements like No-Shave November, the recent matching $500 million contribution from Phil Knight to the OHSU Cancer Center, and countless other cancer research fundraisers happening around the world, it’s time to raise awareness and defeat cancer once and for all.

Cheers.