|Herald photo by Ian Martens
Philosphy student Steve Firth watches in the background as pipers David Kaminski and Jana Archibald play to help kick-off his ÒYear-in-a-KiltÓ fundraising and awareness campaign for male-specific cancers Friday at the University of Lethbridge.
A University of Lethbridge philosophy student has come up with a new way to draw attention to male cancers and hopefully raise funds to find a cure.
Steve Firth, a fourth-year student, launched his campaign Friday and said he'll be baring his knees and donning a kilt every day for the next year.
"This is designed to attract attention to male-specific cancers. The wearing of the kilt is a highly visible thing so we're hoping to draw attention to me and my backspace, which I'm renting out to sponsors in order to give them advertising and hopefully attract a whole world of attention from the city and lots of money and lots of awareness," Firth said.
Firth was moved to trade his pants for a kilt because male cancers have touched his life.
"This week I lost my uncle, back in England. I have some very close friends who have prostate cancer and my grandfather has prostate cancer as well," he said.
Firth devised his campaign as a way to bring male cancers to the forefront, as has been done with breast cancer in recent years.
"Men seem to get left out of this for some reason or another and I know that's kind of because we have a rough, tough sort of image but I think it's time for that to stop because men are dying," he said.
Firth said more men than women are diagnosed with cancer and die from cancer each year. The top three male cancers, colorectal, prostate and lung cancer, make up about 40 per cent of all cancers. And if the kilt becomes the pink-ribbon symbol for men's cancers all the better, in Firth's opinion.
"We associate kilts with men. It's a very masculine thing. You see the Highlanders and their swords and the fighting and the warriors and the blue faces. And there's always that tentative notion of what it is guys wear under their kilts," Firth said, sweeping his hands down toward the floor and providing an answer. "Shoes and socks.
"If we can get this to become the next pink ribbon let's plaid up and get on with that."
Firth invites people to sponsor him for a year. More information is available at www.kiltup-4cancer.com, on Facebook or through his donation page on the Canadian Cancer Society website.