All great men have – at one point in life – sported a mustache.
Every November, something magical happens in countries across the globe. A group of dedicated men donate their upper lips to the cause of Movember. The Movember charity began with a small group of 30 Australians who, in 2004, decided to grow mustaches to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Since it’s humble beginnings, the Movember movement has exploded and become world-famous. In 2011 alone, the Movember charity raised $126.3 million USD for cancer research. Their fundraising totals have increased every year since inception, and there’s no indication that they’ll slow down anytime soon.
I’m a huge believer in the beauty of simplicity. So many great things in life are simple. Just look at the idea behind Movember. Let’s convince a bunch of guys to grow mustaches for a month. In the process, we can all raise awareness for prostate cancer and funds for cancer research. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better idea.
Why should you care?
Why should you care about mustaches? Well, because they’re awesome. More importantly, why should you care about Movember and prostate cancer? If you’re a man, it’s obvious. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men worldwide. It’s quite possible that you or someone you know has been affected by prostate cancer – and if not, then certainly you know someone who has been affected by another type of cancer. In 2012, it’s estimated that there will be more than 241,000 new cases of prostate cancer among American men. That’s more than twice as many as the next most common type of cancer in men – lung cancer. It’s also slightly more common than breast cancer is in women. The scary part is that an estimated 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives. 1 in 6. That’s 17% of the population. (all statistics taken from The American Cancer Society)
For women, the answer is less obvious. Firstly, you should care because a man in you life who you know and love could be affected by prostate cancer. Also, I bet you didn’t know that women have prostates too. Seriously.
The thing about prostate cancer is – while it is devastating to men everywhere – it’s very preventable. Some men are hereditarily more susceptible to it through family history. However, regular prostate screenings, health checks, a healthy diet, and regular exercise can absolutely lower and almost completely diminish your risk.
Where does Movember come in?
It’s quite simple. Guys (mo bros) grow ‘staches and convince gals (mo sistas), friends, family, and total strangers to donate money to the cause. The money raised goes to The Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG for cancer research and prevention education. So donating to Movember means you’re directly helping fund research to find a cure for cancer and education for men on how to prevent prostate cancer.
My involvement in Movember
I originally got involved in Movember because of a very special person in my life. My grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer and passed away in 2000, when I was in high school. He taught me so many important life lessons that still resonate with me to this day – and will for the rest of my life. None more important than:
Be it big, be it small, do it right or not at all.
In 2010, I organized a team of co-workers to ban together, grow ‘staches for a month (despite the reputation on campus as those creepy guys from the Claims Department), and raise money for the Movember charity. In our first year, we raised almost $5,000! Last year, having left my previous job and being a Movember free-agent, my brother and I teamed up to raise more than $1,000 between just the two of us.
This year, I’ve decided not to grow a mustache, but instead to throw my support at my old co-workers who continue to carry on the Movember tradition two years after I left. Why, you might ask, would I deprive the world of another great mustache? Honestly, working in a school with more than 400 children, I thought…well, you get the idea. Schools are not the best places for mustaches. Yet, that didn’t stop me from producing this stunner (for one day at least).
Please support Movember in 2012
Finally, I’m asking for your support. As mentioned above, I’m formally dedicating all of my support to my ex co-workers, and one man in particular. My good friend Aaron Dolney has taken over the duties of Movember team captain the past two years in my absence. He’s put together a great team this year, again. He’s also managed to sport one of the most epic fu manchus I’ve ever seen.
So, I’m officially asking for your support for Aaron and his Movember team. Friends and family who have donated to me in the past, please donate to Aaron or his team if you can. Every small donation helps in a big way. I’ve donated to both Aaron and his team in memory of my grandfather. Please consider contributing to this worthy cause by going to one of the following links:
Donate to Aaron’s ‘mo space’ page
Donate to Aaron’s team: Loops, Segments, and Mos
There’s only one week left in November, so act fast! Aaron, his team, and I thank you in advance for your generosity.
I’d like to dedicate this post to my grandfather and another great man in my life who knows how to rock a wicked ‘stache – my dad, of course.
* If you know someone who has been affected by prostate cancer (or any type of cancer), or you love mustaches as much as I do, or you simply enjoyed reading this, PLEASE consider sharing this post with your friends and family. Your support is greatly appreciated. - MJP