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Mission to find a cure for cancer drives Denver7 reporters, anchors to grow beards during November

Posted at 10:42 AM, Nov 01, 2019

DENVER — Don’t adjust your televisions. Things are getting a little fuzzy on Denver7, but it’s all part of an effort to help cancer patients and find a cure for the disease.

For the second year in a row, members of the Denver7 team are taking part in the American Cancer Society’s Denver NovemBeard campaign. The men are letting their beards grow as conversation starters to raise money for the ACS’s cancer research efforts as well as programs like the Road to Recovery program that provides transportation for patients during treatment.

Denver7 anchor Shannon Ogden’s mom Rosemary died of cancer back in September.

"I’m taking part in this event for her, to raise money for research and services for others dealing with cancer,” he said.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Colorado, and one in three people will be diagnosed with some form of the disease at some point during their life. This year alone in Colorado, 2,270 men will be newly diagnosed with prostate cancer and another 540 will die. About 120 Colorado men will die of melanoma in 2019, many of them part of the 1,830 who will be learning they have the disease.

The fight against cancer is also personal for reporter Russell Haythorn. His father was diagnosed with various types of cancer six times before he lost his battle with pelvic cancer. Russell has also lost an uncle and friends to the disease in recent years.

“It is my sincerest hope that we can one day beat the disease,” he said.

Last November, Russell and fellow reporter Jason Gruenauer combined to raise nearly $8,000 to fund programs and research. In addition to Shannon, the duo is being joined this year by reporters Sean Towle and Ivan Rodriguez and the entire Denver7 sports team — sports director Lionel Bienvenu, Nick Rothschild and Troy Renck.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who hasn’t been affected by cancer in one way or another,” Lionel said. “I have lost family members and friends to cancer and I have many family members and friends who are cancer survivors.”

“Cancer has affected so many families,” Troy said, adding that he feared he was going to lose his father to the disease earlier this year. “My facial hair will likely look foolish. But that's kind of why I am doing it: to create attention and interest in raising funds for a great cause.”

You can donate or join the Denver7 team by following this link. You can donate to the team or to an individual beard grower. You can also follow the links on that site to set up your own team at work or amongst your friends.