I bet you know someone with a silicone bracelet promoting awareness of breast cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, poverty, or some other cause. Each wristband comes in a different color and is worn with pride. It is common to spot an awareness bracelet and ask the wearer about their personal motivation.
Same story with mustaches — especially when you don’t recall the person wearing one before.
“Why do you have a mustache?” was a popular question I received last month.
I told them I was growing a mo for Movember, an international grassroots movement to promote awareness and research into prostate and testicular cancers. I told them I was raising money for the cause. They smiled. They thanked me. And some of them donated or told me their stories.
I thank everyone who collectively contributed over $100 to the cause.
Movember, Day 5:
Movember, Day 29:
It is common for newspapers and societal messaging to focus on breast cancer. But a man dies every 18 minutes from prostate cancer. If growing mustaches during 30 days of November helps promote awareness of that fact, I’m proud to be part of something bigger than myself. The thing is, as I told people in recent weeks, men tend to feel embarrassed about changes in their bodies and for different reasons they don’t talk about it or seek help. They get depressed, develop cancer, and die.
As the month progressed, some reactions changed from curiosity to ridicule drawing analogies of a mustache to “dirt on my face” or a “feather duster.” I tried telling them my walking billboard story but their minds were already made up and their ears were turned elsewhere. I felt sorry for them.
Think about the last time you openly talked or listened to a conversation about breast cancer. Next, think about the last time you openly talked or listened to a conversation about testicular cancer.
We owe it to ourselves to better ourselves.
To the men reading this, please schedule an annual health check if you haven’t had one recently. To the women, support your men.