Updated: Friday, Dec. 7, 2012: 7:00 p.m. EST
When it comes to creative, out-there charitable efforts, we've seen men run in high heels, college kids race while juggling and even Santas dance to "Gangnam Style." But you have to hand it to Mark McIntyre, who hitchhiked across Canada in just his underwear.
Better known as "The Gitchhiker," the 43-year-old finished a three-week journey traversing Canada solely in his gitch -- a Canadian slang term for male underwear, CTV News reports. His mission was to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.
"Every single Canadian has two things in common: they're awesome and they have a cancer story -- maybe not necessarily directly related to themselves, but a family member or someone who is close to them. So I sat in cars and talked to people and laughed and cried and talked about people's relationship to this disease," McIntyre told the news outlet.
Five years ago McIntyre was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Now a survivor, McIntyre has sought out ways to raise awareness about the disease, according to yorkregion.com.
Stanfield's, the Canadian underwear company sponsored McIntyre’s 4,417-mile journey -- the company’s $27,000 contribution combined with donations McIntyre received on the road raised more than $32,000 for the cause, according to CTV News.
Hitching a ride from Vancouver, British Colombia to Truro, Nova Scotia in tighty-whities had its challenges. While many drivers sped up when they saw a grown man standing on the side of the road, others were curious, he explained to the news outlet.
After McIntyre explained to potential rides his mission, "And then they'd be like 'oh, ok,' and they'd pick me up or donate or maybe give me a hug or a thumbs up. Canadians have been pretty amazing," he told CTV News.
But the journey wasn’t only about catching an eastbound ride.
Supporters dared McIntyre to do some treacherous activities in his gitch like going dog sledding and figure skating. And after the celebrating his journey’s end in Truro, Nova Scotia - McIntyre took a polar bear dip in the Salmon River, trurodaily.com reports.
This wasn’t McIntyre’s first time support men’s cancer research. In October 2010 he spent 25 days living alone in a loft, wearing only in Stanfield’s underwear and was live on camera the entire time. For every “like” he received on Facebook the underwear brand would donate $1 to the Canadian Cancer Society. His viral campaign raised $50,000, according to the Canadian Press.
But for McIntyre, his bizarre fundraising campaigns are more about the cause than anything else. He places particular emphasis on early detection.
“Women are a lot better at it but (men) are terrible. We’ve got to check our boys,” he told thechronicleherald.ca. “I want people to make sure they go to the doctor (and) check themselves out — boys and girls.”
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