Guest post by Kelli, a first-year Mo Sista
Photo courtesy of us.movember.com
October has ended and all those bright pink breast cancer awareness ribbons will be stashed away until 2013. Now it is time to turn our attention to the men. Movember, or the month formerly known as November, has officially been taken over by the moustache or “Mo” as it is known in Australia, to help raise awareness for men’s health issues. When is the last time you heard your guy say, “I need to go to the doctor?” It has probably been awhile. Men are invincible and don’t feel the need to check-in with the doc, and Movember is here to change that.
Movember began in 2003 when two friends in Australia were discussing fashion trends and wanted to know where the Mo went. That night the decision was made, they had to bring the Mo back. With 30 of their closest friends committed to growing an upper-lip warmer, Movember was officially born. As fun as the first year was it was just that, for fun. The next year the first official webpage was created, the word spread and the decision was made to start accepting donations. With 450 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas in Melbourne and $45,000 raised, it was touted as a success. As each Movember came, the participation grew and the Mo’s started sprouting up all around the world. In 2006, New Zealand joined in the moustachery fun and helped raise $9.3 million…2007 four more countries joined in and raised $20.2 million…as each year passed, the cause grew bigger and bigger. So here we are in 2012, trying to break 1 million participants and beat last year’s mark of $126.3 million raised.
The donations raised by Movember are invested into programs that address the concerns of those rockin’ the Mo, prostate and testicular cancer. The Prostate Cancer Foundation, and The Livestrong Foundation are helping to provide men accurate diagnosis and guidance for the right forms of treatments for these cancers. These outlets also provide an equally important service, Survivorship programs. There is help out there and these programs provide support and help to bring the focus away from the disease and onto living a meaningful life.
According to research, up to half of male cancer cases could be prevented by making healthier diet and lifestyle choices. With each moustache grown the awareness rises and that is what is important. Spreading the word for men to ask questions, being educated about their family history, and NOT being afraid to “bend over” when the time comes. I am sure you can ask all of your girlfriends and they could tell you the last and next time she is due for a physical, but I would bet few of the men in your life could say the same. By raising awareness we can get men talking, sharing, and most importantly in the door to see their physicians to catch diagnosis earlier.
Here are some US-specific findings during the month of Movember:
69% of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas had a general check up with their doctor
79% discussed their health with friends, family, and colleagues
70% talked about specific men’s health issues
67% recommended that someone else see a doctor
43% became more aware and educated about the health risks they face
“On average, men die five to six years younger than women. The suicide rate is four times higher for men than women and more than five men die prematurely each hour from potentially preventable illnesses.”- Movember.com. These are difficult things to hear, especially since there’s no biological disadvantage putting men at greater risk. As a Mo Sista’ I am doing my part to help raise awareness and doing what I can for the men in my life, and it is easy for you to do the same. Ladies, live out your Tom Selleck fantasies and support your man as he grows the Mo this month, and gentlemen I look forward to seeing your creations on Movember 30th. For more information or to register visit http://us.movember.com/, and remember: “Knowledge is Power, Moustache is King”