January 22, 2022

Former Canadian Forces brothers team up to support camp for kids with inflammatory bowel disease

Barrie, ON, March 5, 2018 – Mike Speyer is tough. He had to be as a member of the Canadian Forces. And he had to be when he endured each of the 32 surgeries he’s undergone because of Crohn’s disease.

It was his ongoing battle with Crohn’s, a chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract, that eventually led him to step back from his role in the military. But his drive to serve pushed him to pick up another cause – helping others impacted by Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Mike and his brother Martin Speyer, who is also a Canadian Forces veteran, took a unique route to raising funds and awareness for IBD – they created a beard and moustache competition called Nuckfest.  Nuckfest 3: The Ontario Beard & Moustache Championships is the latest iteration of the event, which is set to take place at on Saturday, March 24 at Mavricks Music Hall, 46 Dunlop Street West, Barrie.

“Marty and I started growing yeards, beards that you grow for a year, as a way to support others with IBD,” says Mike Speyer. “People would ask us about our beards, and that would open up conversations about Crohn’s and colitis. That encouraged us to make an even bigger impact with Nuckfest.” Funds raised at Nuckfest support Camp Got2Go, a camp for youth aged 9-17 living with Crohn’s or colitis.

“It’s not always easy for kids to talk about living with Crohn’s or colitis, or to meet others facing similar challenges, so Camp Got2Go brings them together so they can share understanding and create friendships,” says Catherine Hinton, Vice President of Development at Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. “We’re so grateful for the support the Speyer brothers have given to us, and their dedication to helping others with IBD.”

In addition to the beard and moustache competition, Nuckfest 3 will feature live performances by tribute bands Knotslip, Third Eye Open & just added Polarity. Doors open at 5 p.m., with performances beginning at 9 p.m. It is 19+ show.

Tickets to Nuckfest 3, as well as registrations for the beard and moustache competitions, are available at www.theyeardproject.org or CLICK HERE to get them instantly online via Ticketfly!

About Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis - Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – are autoimmune diseases that cause the body to attack healthy tissue, leading to the inflammation of all or part of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, fatigue, internal bleeding, and frequent and urgent bowel movements, in some cases over 20 times a day. Canada has some of the highest incidence rates of Crohn’s and colitis in the world, with approximately 250,000 people diagnosed. One Canadian is newly diagnosed with Crohn’s or colitis every hour.

About Crohn’s and Colitis Canada - Crohn’s & Colitis Canada is the only national, volunteer-based charity focused on finding the cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improving lives affected by these diseases. We are one of the top two health charity funders of Crohn’s & colitis research in the world, investing over $115 million in research to date. We are transforming the lives of people affected by Crohn’s & colitis (the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease) through research, patient programs, advocacy, and awareness.