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What is Julyna?
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Let me introduce myself, my name is Vanessa Willson and I am the founder of Julyna: a team of like minded people focused on raising money and awareness for cervical cancer. We are made up of individuals in finance, healthcare, theater, PR, sales, marketing, TV production, and jewelry design—an eclectic group bound together by a passion for fighting back against cervical cancer. We plan on giving all the money raised during July to The Canadian Cancer Society.

Julyna was dreamt up by a group of girls sitting around a booth at Le Petit Castor, in Rosedale, Toronto. It was mid-November, right around the time that Movember (The global charity that raises funds and awareness for men’s health through the power of the moustache) was in full swing. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could grow out our mustaches?” one of us said after a sip of her pink panther. “Well, I’m sure I could grow one,” another laughed. At that very moment there was a suggestion, “Why don’t we start a charity to raise money for cervical cancer? What about calling it muffember, or bevember, or vulvember…?” The names kept coming but it wasn’t until many months later that we came up with the term “Julyna.” The cause was obvious--as all of us knew someone who had experienced cervical cell dysplasia or cancer. Hence, Julyna was born and the rest is history.

The rules for Julyna are simple: Women will spend the month of July exercising creativity and personal wellness by choosing a style for their hair down there and sticking to it—as a fundraising technique. Women don’t have to leave it au naturel, or choose a standard pattern like “The Charlie Chaplin.” They can make something up. Get creative! Not only do we hope that Julyna raises funds for cervical cancer, but also that the added attention drawn below the belt will inspire women to take care of this area in other ways, i.e. through scheduled Pap tests or by discussing the HPV vaccine with their family doctors. I’ve been getting a lot of people saying “I won’t get to see the designs, so why would I give money without proof?” First of all, people give money to marathon runners and it’s rare that they will actually see him/her running. Secondly, do you really need proof of the handy work to give money to a cause that will ultimately result in saving the lives of many women? That’s right, I didn’t think so! So to all you philanthropists out there—get creative and get generous. And, if you don’t want to style your hair for money, please donate to the cause by sponsoring someone who is participating in Julyna this year.

Thanks for your support,

Vanessa Willson and Team Julyna