Guide to November Awareness Months

November signals many things: midterms have mostly come and gone, fall is in full swing and Starbucks has broken out its red holiday cups. In addition to popular seasonal practices such as the No Shave November, a campaign promoting awareness of prostate cancer, the month also attempts to shed light on other, less known causes.

Epilepsy Awareness Month
Epilepsy, also called seizure disorder, is a neurological disease where the brain causes seizures, paralysis or other uncontrollable body movements. Throughout the month, limited edition E-Bears and Purple Teddy Bears will be sold to raise funds.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month
As this disease afflicts more than just smokers, the Cancer Care’s annual Walk for Hope on Nov. 8 invites participants of all backgrounds. Although the event is a bit far at the town of Oyster Bay Golf Course in Woodbury, people are encouraged to come celebrate, honor and support those affected by lung cancer.

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Transgender Awareness Month
The Pride Agenda is dedicating this month to celebrate the experiences of transgender New Yorkers. The organization hopes to raise awareness of non-discrimination protections based on gender identity and expression. The Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20 will honor the victims of transphobic hate.

National Marrow Awareness Month
November honors and celebrates those have conducted marrow research as well as those who donate marrow.  Although it is a lengthy process of four to six weeks, donating marrow helps those that are in dire need and can sometimes even monetarily compensate donors.

National Pet Cancer Awareness Month
It is time to realize that cancer affects more than just people. This is a time of celebration for beloved pets with Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research as well as for the Petco Foundation, which raised over $2 million for pet cancer research earlier this year.

No Shave November (“Movember”)
As part of a popular social media campaign, “Movember” raises awareness of men’s health issues including prostate cancer. Because those with the cancer must shave their hair, supporters refrain from shaving to show support. A No Shave 5K on Nov. 22 at Highland Park will wrap up the month.

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
Beginning Nov. 2, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is launching a month in lieu of pancreatic cancer awareness. On Nov. 16, people are encouraged to wear purple to show solidarity with those affected by the cancer and post photos on social media using #wagehope as a sign of support.

Sweet Potato Awareness Month
On a lighter note, this month brings attention to the simple fact that sweet potatoes and yams are two different vegetables. While a variety of sweet potato dishes can be found on menus across many New York City eateries, a sweet potato cooking demonstration will be hosted on Nov. 15 at Wave Hill House.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 2 print edition. Email Diamond Naga Siu at [email protected] 

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