Changing the Face of Men’s Health

Seven years ago [2003], just thirty men registered to participate in Movember. This year [2010], on November 19, Movember, the month of the moustache, witnessed its millionth participant registration.

Registered participants of Movember—Mo Bros—are challenged to let their upper lip run wild for the entirety of November and grow a hairy Mo (moustache). The Mo becomes the ribbon for men’s health and the means by which awareness and funds are raised for prostate cancer. Beards and goatees, however, are not acceptable. Women are also encouraged to register as Mo Sistas and support their Mo Bros in their quest to grow a moustache and change the face of men’s health.

During the campaign Movember educates the participating Mo Bros and Mo Sistas about how to prevent cancer through diet, fitness, lifestyle choices, an annual physical and preventative screening.

Beginning in Melboure, Australia in 2003, Movember has since evolved to encompass Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands and Finland.

Movember creators, inspired by the women around them and all they had done for breast cancer, set themselves on a course to create a global men’s health movement, choosing to donate all funds raised to the number one cancer affecting men—prostate cancer.

Locally, Virden based team Mo Magic is sporting Bros with staches and Sistas showing their support. With about 20 members on their team, captain Matthew Sinnock reports they have raised $425 to date.

“It’s a great cause,” says Sinnock. “It really helps spread awareness.”

With the slogan “Grow a Mo, save a bro!” Movember is a worldwide event that is gaining more and more recognition every year. This year, Canada’s participant level is nothing short of awesome with over 116,000 registered Mo growers and supporters and over $14.2 million in donations to Prostate Cancer Canada to date.

When asked why he, specifically, joined Movember’s cause, Sinnock replied that everyone has a dad to look out for.

Movember madness is hurriedly creating a sensation, and it is becoming clear that growing a beautiful Mo isn’t the only way to support the cause. In early October at an NBA game in Vancouver, the Toronto Raptors dancers tossed Movember t-shirts into the crowd during Movember minute of madness. A jewelry designer out of Los Angeles created the ‘Demistache’ line of necklace pendants sporting several shapes and sizes of moustaches ranging from $38 to $2,700. Apple has created a free Movember iPhone app. A plane in South Africa, a military helicopter in the US and a 69,000-tonne P&O ship in Australia all sprouted moustaches for Movember, and this year, the mayor of Fort St. John, British Columbia, officially proclaimed the month of November, 2010 as Movember and the entire city registered to participate.

Mo Bros are allowed to shave their furry lips on December 1.

More information about Movember can be found and donations can be made at ca.movember.com.

Published in the Virden Empire-Advance. November, 2011.

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