Siobhain Fletcher, a 36-year old woman from England, has grown a beard in order to raise money for prostate cancer awareness while taking part in "Movember", an event which has increased in popularity around the world this month as men grow out their facial hair.
Fletcher says she was diagnosed with a disorder--polycystic ovary syndrome--when she was in her twenties, but had noticed the symptoms when she hit puberty. The disorder causes her to grow thick facial hair, and Fletcher says that after trying several methods to remove the hair which turned out to be both costly and painful, she made the decision to let it grow out for a good cause.
"It helps people get checked for prostate and testicular cancer, and hopefully people will, instead of going to a funeral, be going to a remission party," she said.
Fletcher now has a profile set up on the UK site for Movember and says people are surprisingly supportive.
"To actually go out there, and get out there, you see people still have manners. People may look, but mostly it's been very positive," she said. "I think only one negative comment on the whole of the Internet."
To date, Fletcher has raised over $1600 for prostate cancer, but she says taking part in the event could have an unexpected side effect.
“My condition used to contribute to depression and anxiety but this is for a good cause and I want to highlight that people shouldn’t judge you on what you have on your face, it’s what is inside that matters," Fletcher said.
Image: Ken McKay