Bald4BoobsEvery day this month I’m shaving my head for breast cancer awareness. I deliberately don’t want your money, I want your attention.

The name sounds a tad awful. That’s the point. #Bald4Boobs is about getting you to ask why. It’s about getting you to talk. Specifically it’s about getting men to talk about it.

If you are a guy I’m going to guess there’s at least one woman you know who you don’t wish awful things towards. If there actually isn’t, whoa do I NEVER want to meet you. September and November are dominated by cancers more commonly associated with men but October is the month where we should talk about breast cancer and the conversation should include men. Women are awesome, they play big roles in our lives. They could be your girlfriend, mother, cousin, buddy, whatever. They are people we like in many different ways. They matter to us a great deal.

Asking for donations would have been the easy route but this isn’t about money. Here’s an example why. I was standing on Harcourt St on Thursday and met a lady I haven’t seen in 5 years. We got chatting about my bald head and she immediately reached for her wallet. If was almost a reflex action. I told her to stop. That got her attention. It’s unusual for a charity campaign to not want your money. Then she did the one thing I wanted her to do. She asked why.

Giving money to causes is great but you’re going to remember more if you’re deliberately asked not to donate. What I’m looking for men to do is help the women in their lives with three pieces of advice. Doing these three things reduces the risk of breast cancer.

1. Eat healthy

2. Exercise more

3. Drink less booze

All of this advice is offered by the Irish Cancer Society but do you know what else it is? Really good advice for keeping healthy in general. It’s not about being a puritan athlete. You, the guys I’m asking to get active, would benefit from following this advice in your own lives. If you chat to the women who matter to you about it too, you’re fighting breast cancer. Give yourselves a pat on the back. You’re helping.

So don’t be silent, don’t worry about offending people. I’m running a campaign with a freaking hashtag called #Bald4Boobs. Once my mother said she thought it was cool, I figured to hell with what anyone else thinks. It’s got your attention. Now I want you to take action.

I’m Emmet Ryan and I’m #Bald4Boobs.

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