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Farmington, Farmington Hills

No Shave November to raise awareness for men’s health

November 18, 2013

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Power Elementary School Principal James Anderson, left, teacher Seth Stern, center, and teacher Jeremy Frame pose for a portrait Nov. 13 to highlight No Shave November. All three are growing beards to raise awareness of men’s health.

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — Throughout the month of November, a number of men in Farmington Public Schools will be looking a bit hairy, and for a good cause: to put men’s health at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

“A majority of men don’t go to the doctor and don’t go for regular checkups (and) take those early warning signs like they should,” Power Upper Elementary School Principal James Anderson said 13 days into No Shave November. “Major health issues could be treated with early diagnosis. If we just save one life, it would be worth it.”

During No Shave November, an altered version of Movember, which challenges men to grow mustaches, FPS staff members do not shave their beards, said Anderson, who stewarded the campaign.

“At some point, (it is) hard to keep in that light-hearted mode for an entire month,” Anderson said of growing out a mustache.

As of press time, a number of male staff from East Middle School; Lanigan, Power, Warner Upper and Forest elementary schools; and North Farmington High School are participating in No Shave November.

Warner Upper Elementary School Principal Mark Watson said the No Shave November campaign brought a lot of dialogue throughout the community.

Although fundraising efforts are not involved, the message of getting regular checkups — especially during the month of November — is priceless, he said.

“One of the first things I ask a parent is, ‘Have you had a physical in the last year?’” Anderson said.

“It brought to light the symbolic piece of having men growing beards that typically don’t,” Watson said. “This has created really solid conversations between community members to make sure guys go to get medical checkups for no specific area other than a complete checkup, to make sure we put men’s health at an important level to us.”

Anderson said that although the month is very important for focusing on men’s health, he can’t help but feel the effects of growing out his beard.

“I thought it would be pretty easy to put the razor away and not shave for a month, and thought it would be kind of enjoyable, but it itches pretty bad and caused some irritation,” he said. “We are not even halfway through, but we are going to get there and stick with it and make this commitment. We’ll see what we look like in the end.”

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