A woman in Staffordshire has grown a beard in support of "No Shave November" and raising support for prostate cancer. Siobhain Fletcher, 36, decided to use her medical condition in order to achieve a bit of fame for a cause she believes in.
"When I started getting my periods, they never became regular – I thought that was a bonus!" Fletcher told ABC News. "I started getting a few hairs, around 15 or 16. Every woman gets facial hair. I thought that was just part of puberty. I cut with scissors or shaved them off."
However, a visit to the doctor showed that she had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a hormonal imbalance that can lead to irregular periods, excessive facial and body hair, weight gain, and infertility. As she grew older, Fletcher tried various methods to remove the unwanted facial hair.
"I tried waxing at first, and the last waxing session took my skin off, rather than the hair. It was already painful, and it took a while for the skin to heal. For my granddad's funeral, I used cream to take it off, but it gave me a chemical burn," Fletcher explained.
This month, however, is known as "Movember" or "No Shave November," in which men refuse to shave their facial hair and try to see who can go the longest without making a cut - all for charity. Fletcher's friend told her that he was participating in "Movember" as part of an awareness-raising event for prostate and other male cancers.
She decided to do what she could in order to help with the cause and realized she could use her own facial hair as an example. "I pointed out that he [her friend] had a bit of face fuzz and asked about it. He told me about 'Movember' and in a spur of the moment decision, I decided to grow mine," she explained.
Fletcher noted that she has received "only one negative comment" about her appearance and participation. In addition to raising awareness of prostate cancer, she is also helping other women with PCOS who have been ashamed to come forward or admit to their condition.