Student-Athletes Raise Funds, Bring Awareness for Cancer

Men's ice hockey captain Ryan White '13 sports his mid-month Movember mustache.

Men’s ice hockey captain Ryan White ’13 sports his mid-month Movember mustache.

Wesleyan student-athletes on the men’s ice hockey team are growing mustaches in support of the Movember, an initiative that brings vital awareness to men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer.

Once registered, the men started Nov. 1 clean shaven. For the rest of the month, the “Mo Bros,” groom, trim and wax their way into the “annals of fine moustachery,” explains the Movember website. The Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts. Through their actions and words they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.

The ice hockey’s Movember fund-raising site is online here and features photos of their mustache progress. The team’s motivation is  to be “just a couple of college kids trying to make a difference.”

In addition, the men’s and swimming and diving squads took part in the 2012 “Hour of Power” on Nov. 13. The student-athletes joined more than 8,100 college, high school and club swim swimmers in swim relay for sarcoma research. The Wesleyan team raised $800 at the event.

The “Hour of Power” event honors those who are fighting or have succumbed to cancer, including former Carleton College swimmer Edward H. “Ted” Mullin, who passed away from synovial sarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer, in September 2006. In addition to raising funds and awareness for sarcoma research and The University of Chicago Medicine, the Wesleyan swimmers and divers participate in the hour-long, high energy, “Leave it in the Pool” sprint relay to show solidarity and keep the memory and spirit of Ted Mullin alive.

The "Hour of Power" swimming and diving participants.

The “Hour of Power” swimming and diving participants.

The object of the relay is to break the team into six or seven teams and race an all-out 50 yard (two lengths) swim in relay format for an entire hour. When one swimmer finishes his or hers two lengths, a teammate dives in and swims two more lengths. Each varsity swimmer sprints for approximately 22 to 30 seconds every three minutes for an entire hour!

The swimmers and divers also participated in a Swim Across America ocean mile swim in Narragansett, R.I. on Sept. 8. Wesleyan’s senior and varsity record holder Brendan Fortin ’13 came out of the water as the first male collegiate swimmer. Considering that there were numerous Div. I swimmers from the University of Connecticut, Providence College, University of Rhode Island, & Holy Cross, it was impressive that the only person to beat Brendan in the ocean mile that day happen to be 2012 USA Olympic Open Water swimmer and Harvard graduate Alex Meyer. Wesleyan raised $7,500 for The Dana Farber Foundation and joined over 300 other collegiate swimmers on the morning of Sept. 8 to raise almost $111,000 for cancer research.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these young men and women for not only being dedicated student-athletes,” said Wesleyan Head Coach Peter Solomon, “but because of their willingness to be involved in community service and making a difference in the lives of others. It speaks volumes about this team’s character and senior leadership.” Read more here.