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Local salon supports cancer research through "Man Up To Cancer" calendar

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Local salon supports cancer research through "Man Up To Cancer" calendar image courtesy Man Up to Cancer's Facebook page
Proceeds benefit Lafayette cancer center

BREWER - L Factor salon owner and hair stylist Gina Leonard has seen, in more ways than one, the effects cancer can have on the human body.

"I'm shaving heads and I'm touched by cancer all the time. We just lost one of my employee's mothers to cancer," explained Leonard. "My mom is a cancer survivor, and I lost an aunt to cancer; losing her is what catapulted me. I just try and turn it into a positive."

One way she's doing that is by helping to raise funds for the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer.

"I really believe in the cancer center here and not having to go to Boston or further for treatments," she said.

So with the help of local cancer survivors, supporters and those affected by cancer, Leonard created the 2013 "Man Up to Cancer" calendar.

"Finding men [that are cancer survivors] for the calendar was the hard part, not because they're not out there but because they don't talk about it. They're not as open to it," said Leonard.

All of the calendar photos were taken at the salon, outside of the cancer center or at the Team Irish MMA Fitness Academy on Abbott Street in Brewer. Leonard's goal is to raise a minimum of at least $10,000.

"I need to sell 700 calendars in order to reach our goal," explained Leonard. "And the holidays are the perfect time to buy calendars. They're the perfect gift."

The calendars cost $20 and can be found at Maine Savings Bank branches, L Factor salon in Brewer, the Bangor Brewer Athletic Club and Union Street Athletics.

"I think the best part of the project is how it connects you to the community," said Leonard. "I want to inspire more men to come forward and man up to cancer and others to just get involved and give back to the community."

To check out some of the photos featured in the calendar, log onto Leonard's Man Up to Cancer Facebook page.

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