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Airman Fights Prostate Cancer with Facial Hair

Scott Hoynoski, an Air Force master sergeant stationed at Hanscom AFB, is growing out a moustache this month as part of the Movember campaign to raise money for and awareness about men's health issues.

A local airman is dedicating his face to men’s health.

That’s how Scott Hoynoski describes his decision to spread the word about prostate cancer this month by growing a moustache. A Master Sergeant and IMA Administrator at Hanscom Air Force Base, Hoynoski is participating in Movember, a campaign in which men around the world sprout moustaches to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues.

“I think men need to aware of prostate cancer and the effects of it,” said Hoynoski, whose late grandfather had prostate cancer, which led to the bone cancer that ultimately took his life. “I think prostate cancer tends gets overshadowed by breast cancer and breast cancer awareness, so I wanted to do my part.”

According to us.Movember.com, men start the month sans facial hair and, as the days go by, grow into “walking, talking billboards” as they seek ‘stache sponsorships and spark conversations about the cause.  

A Pennsylvania native, Hoynoski, joined the Air Force in 1997 and moved to Hanscom, with his wife and two children, in February 2010. The Hoynoskis are heading home for Thanksgiving, a leave long enough to afford the normally clean-shaven 34-year-old ample time to sprout a ‘stache for Movember.

Before heading home for the holiday, Hoynoski chatted with Lexington Patch about moustache maintenance and what moved him to start team “Hoystaches” this Movember.

Patch: What attracted you to the Movember campaign as a way to raise awareness about prostate cancer?

SH: I actually read a men’s website called Valet and happened to see an article on Movember. It never really crossed my mind about raising money for prostate cancer. I remember when Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG came on the scene and I was vaguely aware of prostate cancer, but we don’t hear about it like we did a few years ago. … The NFL, NCAA and other sports are honoring breast cancer by wearing pink, but you don’t see any of them talking and sponsoring prostate cancer awareness. They are playing a man’s game, advocating for a woman’s cause (which I fully support, don’t get me wrong) but don’t advocate something that every man should be aware of.

Patch: In your own words, what is Movember all about?

SH: I think Movember is a small way for guys to make a bold (fashion) statement by going out of their comfort zone (growing a moustache) and supporting a disease that seems to not get the awareness that it rightfully deserves. People will take notice when guys they know that normally do not sport moustaches start growing them and want to know why they are doing it.

Patch: Is this the first time you’ve ever grown a moustache – or attempted to grow one?

SH: I am Polish and Italian. In regards to my facial hair, my Polish genes are more predominant than my Italian genes, so I tend not to actively grow a moustache. When on leave for an extended period of time, I don’t always shave; my face needs a break.

Patch: What kind of reaction did you get from our wife, kids, family and colleagues when you told them you were growing a moustache this month?

SH: My wife is not big on me having a moustache, but doesn’t mind if I ‘try’ to grow a beard. The kids are too small to let it affect them, but my son notices when I don’t shave … he calls my facial hair ‘scratchies.’

Patch: Are you modeling your moustache after anyone in particular? And how optimistic are you about how that will work out?

SH: Since I am in the Air Force, I have to keep up within the standards, so I’m not modeling it after anyone in particular.

Patch: Who wore your favorite moustache of all time, and why?

SH: There are a few people: Sam Elliott, the actor; Paul Teutel, Sr. of Orange County Choppers, and Gary McCord from CBS Golf. They are all unique looks and just work for each of them. Could you imagine them without moustaches?

To participate in Movember, and join the Hoystaches or donate, check out:  http://mobro.co/chezhoy

For more information on prostate cancer, visit the Prostate Cancer Foundation at http://www.pcf.org/site/c.leJRIROrEpH/b.5699537/k.BEF4/Home.htm

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