Medical students at Memorial University have launched Feb-U-Hairy, a new fundraiser for the month of February encouraging women to put away the razor and stop shaving their legs for a month to help raise awareness for cervical cancer screening.
On Monday, the group held a bake sale at the medical school to kick things off.
Kathleen Callanan, founder of the event, said she got inspiration for Feb-U-Hairy from Movember, a popular event in November that aims at raising awareness for men's health.
"It was probably a little bit of jealousy from Movember, wanting to do something that I could participate in and raise some money for a good cause," she said.
Callanan said they got a mixed response from people: some were slightly disgusted, while others said they would happily forgo shaving their legs for the month.
Diana Cose, who survived cervical cancer and helped with the event, said it's important for her to help raise awareness for women to maintain their cervical screenings.
Cose said making sure women know that there are Pap test clinics available in St. John's for people without a family doctor is essential to catch any possible sign of illness.
"It's really important to know there are Pap clinics available for people that are working in the day time and they can't get to their test," she said.
"I had problems getting into my doctor … and I knew I was overdue, so I ended up having to go look for a new family doctor. Of course, that's hard to do in town right now."
Cose said it took her a while to find another family doctor to get her annual checkup, and that's when she found out she had cervical cancer.
"Had I known that there was a pap clinic in town all the time that I could avail of without having to have a family doctor, it certainly could have made a difference because it certainly changed my life," she said.