Raising funds and awareness for causes comes in many forms: galas, Kickstarter campaigns, races and so on. Sometimes, though, raising eyebrows is also an effective method — just ask Paddy O’Brien. The Marin native and 19-year-old student at New Zealand’s Knox College cycled naked through an undergraduate anatomy lecture recently to raise awareness of testicular cancer. It worked. The story of the stunt was picked up by several news outlets, effectively getting the word out. But this is hardly O’Brien’stesticular cancer first brush with fame. Diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, as a child, O’Brien became the face of fundraising efforts to build the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital. Of his recent dash through the spotlight, he says, “I wanted to show that fundraising doesn’t have to be bake sales and fundraisers. You can generate awareness by doing something fun like this.” And that’s the naked truth.
This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition with the headline: “Winning Streak”.