Men need awareness too.
T-shirts with the slogan “Save Deez-Nuts” attracted the attention of many people that walked the streets of the Cooper Young Festival.
This was the first year the founders of Mid-South Men’s Health Organization Inc. attended the festival, and they brought with them T-shirts, wrist bands, and goodie bags for their “Save Deez-Nuts” campaign. This is their first campaign, which was started to raise awareness and promote the prevention of testicular cancer.
“There are a lot of organizations out there that support breast cancer and other women’s health initiatives, but we feel like there is not a really strong centralized organization to support men and men’s health needs,” said Jeff Ayers, co-founder of Mid-South Men’s Health Organization Inc. “So, our idea was to start an organization for that.”
Mid-South Men’s Health Organization Inc. was established in January 2012 by brothers Nick and Jeff Ayers, as a way to “raise money for testicular cancer and other health issues affecting men,” Nick said.
“We just want to let people know that as a man it’s OK to go to the doctor,” Jeff said.
Since their organization is relatively new, it is small, but the brothers said that they eventually want to “be able to raise enough money to [bring] change in the way research is done.” They chose to come to the Cooper Young Festival to network in order to achieve that goal.
“The Cooper Young Festival is one of the biggest regional festivals in the area, and it allows us an opportunity to interact with the community, and to meet people outside of just the website and Facebook. [Here] you can see people face to face, and hear people’s issues and what’s going on outside in the community,” Jeff said.
They also used the festival to raise money and awareness and to attract volunteers.
“We could really use a lot of help, because one of the major under-represented demographics is younger people, especially younger men, who have a lot more health issues than they are ever willing to recognize,” Jeff said
The organization needs volunteers to work booths that they set up, events that they host, and to help them publicize their organization.
“We recently did a bowling tournament to raise money for a friend of ours who was going through chemotherapy,” Jeff said.
The Ayers brothers told a story of their friend, Kyle, who is a graduate student at the University of Memphis. He had testicular, and they held the bowling tournament to raise money for his living expenses while he went through chemotherapy.
He is a cancer survivor.
To find out more about Mid-South Men’s Health Organization Inc., or to get involved, visit their website call-to-duty.org.