Two young men, hell-bent on outlasting each other, are putting what started as a joke towards a noble cause; raising awareness about Motor Neurone Disease.
Facial hair is very ‘in’ at the moment, but in this instance, the growth of said hair is for a good cause rather than simply a nod to indie culture.
“The year of the beard… the year’d” as Dave Whitford, 20, of Hornsby, has endearingly called the idea. Whitford and William Calder, 20, of Wahroonga, have decided to grow their facial hair for an entire year, in the name of Motor Neurone Disease.
Motor Neurone Disease is a disease that causes the rapidly progressing degeneration of nerve cells. Motor Neurones are the nerve cells that control certain muscles and the wasting of those muscles affect speech, swallowing and breathing.
There are approximately 140,000 cases of MND diagnosed yearly, making the lack of awareness in our community shocking.
Dave is a ute-driving, beer-drinking, country-dwelling Aussie bloke and seems to have had facial hair since his voice dropped – when he was 10.
Will is a charismatic, deep-hearted man whose facial hair is somewhat patchy in comparison to Dave; they are both gentlemen worth supporting.
The pair originally planned to grow their beards for an entire year and taking a photo each day, compiling the images at the end for an interesting montage.
Beverly Smith, a friend of Whitford and Calder had asked the pair why they wanted to fulfil such an original yet redundant challenge and that sparked the idea.
For every day up to a year that they grow their beards, Beverly had promised to donate $1 to any charity or research industry that they choose.
“MND for me is a very personal, close to heart disease,” said David.
“Any money raised towards the cause could close the book, finish off the chapter so to speak.”
An idea that stemmed from a bit of humour could potentially aid the much-needed research, and the boys have said that they are open to any support anyone wants to offer.
Will sees the idea like “the ALS ice bucket challenge, but without water or a bucket… so completely different.”
“A lot of people don’t know how severe the disease is and how quickly you can be affected by it,” said Dave, emphasising the importance and potential of such a great cause.
Motivated by helping cure the devastating illness, Dave believes there’s “nothing stopping us.”
“We’re in this together so whenever Dave stops I’m stopping… or until I can’t get a job,” added Will.
“Any help is great,” continued Will, “maybe through hash tag, we spread awareness,” he finished, excited by the possibilities.
Dave and Will are easily contactable, either through us, or personal message on Facebook, and would warmly welcome any support.
As one of the fastest acting and devastating diseases that humanity knows barely anything about, the spreading of awareness and the raising of money towards this cause is crucial.
Get out your calendars and start counting down 365 days of growth.