Cancer doesn’t discriminate; we’ve all been touched in one way or another. And though generalizations have their weaknesses, it’s fair to say that men have an especially hard time seeking out advice and support when they receive a diagnosis.
Founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2003, Movember has become an explosive worldwide movement that is empowering men. The organization does this by recruiting “mo-bros” to raise funding and awareness for men’s health initiatives.
Last year, in Movember’s 8th year of existence, over 850,00 men registered to participate in Movember. Together, they raised more than $126 million dollars! In 2012, 21 countries around the world are participating in the movement.
Cut Through the Jargon
You’ve probably caught on to the fact that Movember sounds a lot like “November,” but you may be stumped beyond that. Both the name of the organization and the “mo-bro” title that participants acquire can be traced back to the country of origin: Australia. In Australia, “mo” is slang for moustache.
…Which brings us to the topic of what you need to do to participate. On November 1st, mo-bros shave off all their facial hair and begin the month-long task of growing the perfect moustache. For some men, this may be your current goal in life. But for many others, a stylish (or not so stylish) moustache on the face will stand out to friends and family as something unusual.
That’s the whole point.
Mo-bros grow moustaches during Movember to start conversations. “Have you been tested for cancer?” “Are you struggling with your health?” “How can I help?” Personal questions like these don’t come up in normal conversation, but they can end up saving the lives of those we love the most.
Here’s a real example of how a life was helped because of Movember:
What Does Movember Do with All the Money Raised?
Movember funds three major programs with the millions of dollars raised every year:
- Awareness and education
- Research (with the ultimate goal of curing prostate cancer, the most common cancer to affect men globally)
Livestrong has been a Movember partner for almost four years. They have a facility on East 6th here in Austin that provides free services for those fighting cancer and their caregivers. Livestrong’s “navigation services” provide direction to those reeling from a cancer diagnosis and its aftermath.
How Can I Get Involved?
There is a vibrant Movember community here in Austin. Movember Austin hosted a launch party at Lustre Pearl on October 18th, and the place was packed.
Here’s how you can participate in Movember 2012:
- Register and be counted on Movember.com.
- Attend a “Shave the Date” event today. There are two in Austin: central at HandleBar and north at The Park at The Domain.
- Attend SoCo & Mo Happy Hour at HandleBar on November 7th, 14th and 28th from 6-9 PM (and get a free drink by being on a registered Movember team).
- Plan to attend the Austin Parte on November 30th at Emo’s to celebrate your month of moustache!
- Visit Austinot Eric’s Movember page and show your support.
Movember has had an incredible impact worldwide since its founding in 2003. Do your part to initiate dialogue with the people around you that you care about.
Have you ever participated in Movember? Do you plan to this year?