A Beard to Save Lives: Hayden Quinn & Jimmy Niggles
It’s not often you come across a story like that of Jimmy Niggles. In 2010 at age 26, his good mate Wes Bonny lost his battle with melanoma. All it took was a suspicious looking spot on his neck which he didn’t know was dangerous until it was too late. This tragic loss is what sparked Jimmy to start his foundation, Beard Season, championing the early detection of melanoma.
Legends like Jimmy deserve to be celebrated and that’s why Australian Lamb invited cook, Hayden Quinn to share this incredible story over a delicious Lamb dish. According to Hayden, a legend is someone who puts themselves before others; someone who “[goes] out of their way for… their friends, their family and [is] a bit of a leader within their community.”
By starting Beard Season, Jimmy has done just that. With melanoma being the biggest cancer killer for young people in Australia and 69% of melanoma deaths being men, his foundation has saved countless lives. According to Jimmy, growing an epic beard seemed like the perfect opportunity to remind people to get a skin check; “In the corner of the bar at Wes’s wake there were these farmers with amazing beards… we all kind of looked at each other and said… why don’t we grow beards… we’ll do it in winter and rename winter Beard Season.” This moment kick-started what has become a life changing movement for so many.
A trained Lifesaver and growing up in the surf himself, Hayden knows all too well the importance of early melanoma detection; “we’re the sunburnt country so to be able to spread that word about getting skin checks, looking out for melanomas and saving lives is pretty amazing”, he says.
When it comes to Lamb, Jimmy is no stranger. Growing up on a Lamb farm, he remembers green, rolling hills and riding around the paddocks on horseback. Lamb was always a staple on his family’s dinner table; “My favourite dish all up is Lamb shanks... but I can now add Hayden’s legendary cutlets as my second favourite.” Hayden believes that Lamb brings people together by connecting over stories and being a family around the table, a ritual we sometimes miss with our busy lives.
For Jimmy, Lamb and mateship will always play a huge role in his life; “the more you share your Lamb with people… and the more stories you have a yarn about over the BBQ, the more you learn… I hope that whoever watches … or… reads this today is inspired to not only try a new Lamb dish but to go and get a skin check, because it could save your life.”
To learn more about Beard Season, visit: https://beardseason.com/