TODAY

TODAY   |  November 21, 2013

Frat joins No-Shave November for brother with cancer

Over a hundred Indiana University fraternity brothers have raised over $57,000 for No-Shave November after putting down the razors in support of their friend Brian Levitas, who has non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> well into no shave november and carson, our push to raise awareness for men's health issues is hitting home for one very good group of guys in indiana.

>> that's right. as you know, college guys typically bond over sports and maybe a few beers, if they're of age, of course. but our friends at indiana university , it goes much deeper than that. . [ music playing ]

>> reporter: you can spot the beards all over hoosier country. indiana university , a basketball powerhouse, where the no shave november move him has one special face.

>> when people see our beards on campus, that's the immediate thought, oh, that must be one of brian 's close friends .

>> 100 brothers standing right besides me, helping me get through this every single day.

>> reporter: in the final days of october, iu junior was diagnosed with non-hodgekins lymphoma. he took a leave from college to start his treatment and return to his family home outside chicago.

>> it's not a one-man fight. i have a whole army behind me.

>> reporter: but back at iu, his army of friend put away their razors and joined the november no shave movement. leak us, they're raising awareness about men's health. but mostly they're just backing their brain.

>> no one will find a group of guys that care for each other like we do.

>> the best thing about the beards is that it's a conversation starter.

>> reporter: the guys, more than 1 strong, post daily photos of their scruffy faces to cheer up brian . since the start of the fundraiser, they have raised more than $60,000 for the lymphoma research foundation.

>> for a second in our life, not being clean shaven for your mother isn't tha important.

reporter: the beards are spreading to other campuses, brian 's younger brother allen, a sophomore at the university of michigan is growing his first beard ever.

>> i love these guys. i mean, i would do anything for him.

>> reporter: brian 's dad gary jokes he can't wait to shave december 1st , but he is deeply grateful for brian 's legion of friend.

>> it really showed when the tough times hit, you know, hit you right over the head, you know, they were right there for him.

>> all i have been doing is moving a step forward every single day and that's because of all of the people i have in my life.

>> reporter: bri -guy as he is known, fighting a tough battle, but not alone.

>> see you, bri -guy.

>> that's a nice story. brean is with us from his home in north brooke, illinois and anyuniversity and dozens of brian 's unshaven fellow students. guys, good morning to all of you.

>> good morning.

>> what's going on?

>> hey.

>>> brian , let's start with you, first of all, looking good on the face. you were diagnosed october 29th . you have been under treatment the last several weeks. how are you feeling this morning?

>> i am feeling incredible. i want to say thank you to logan and chad for everything they have done and everyone that is staying right there behind them. they've literally put a smile on my face every single day that i wake up and made this ten times easier for me and with all their love an support, i can't begin to tell you. i'm speechless.

>> chad, logan, you guys have done such a great job with this. when you have a friend, he's in need, you do what you can. you guys went well above and beyond that. tell me a about this huge fund raising effort.

>> we started off and we just, we've gotten diagnosis about breevenlt we want to control something and we knew we couldn't be in the hospital with him, treating him. so we tried to control the mental side of things. so we got together and created this fundraiser and decided we were taking the rest of the day off with class and set the goal for $500 and two hours later we had raised $14,000.

>> wow, that's amazing.

>> i know, the money, let's make sure we understand, the money is not going to brian for his medical bills. it's going where?

>> to the research foundation.

>> go ahead.

>> the money that we raise initially.

>> hey, bri , initially the money that we raise $57,000 has already gone to the lymphoma research foundation and now we have started a few fundraiser for the children's oncology services and i think we've already raised over $2,000 for. well, the borders are looking good, guys. it seems leak it caught on. we started doing that around here. this has spread outside of your campus. is that right?

>> yeah. absolutely. our friends in texas, kansas, illinois, michigan, everywhere throughout the country and at home i know i have my family going to actually give physical support to brean when we can't be there at his house with him haing out, taking his mind off water going on.

>> brean , real quickly, let me end with you, you think the group there in i don't know should keep the beards?

>> i like the look. it's winter, it keeps a little extra coat on the face.

>> they have a great slogan, tough times don't last, tough people do. all you guys over there, thank you so much.