It’s almost time for Movember! If you’re not exactly sure what that means, other than a bunch of men suddenly growing mustaches, there’s a lot more to it. Movember is a global men’s health charity that encourages men to grow the Mo (slang for moustache) during the month of November to raise awareness and funds for men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.
Participation is easy. Men and women register at Movember.com to grow or support the Mo. Men start the first of November clean shaven and grow their moustache for 30 days, getting friends, family and colleagues to donate and support their Mo-growing efforts. Women are very important to the Movember campaign. Mo Sistas get involved in the same way as Mo Bros, except they don’t grow a Mo. They register at Movember.com, start a team, recruit the men in their lives to participate, donate, fundraise, and plan and participate in events.
The funds raised in the US support men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. Funds raised are directed to programs run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG Foundation. The three channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programs in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.
We asked two staff members, Mark Hedstrom and Andy Leonetti, to share what Movember means to them and why they decided to get involved:
Mark: “For me it’s twofold. One professionally, because I spent about 10 years in health care and had seen the outcomes that were being generated from the system as it existed, and knew that as a country and as a culture we needed to be moving towards healthier lifestyles and preventative medicine. And personally, I had a dear friend of mine pass away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 32. It was a really difficult period in a lot of our lives because we didn’t know how to talk about it. That was the tough part for all of us because we were all guys and we didn’t know how to talk about these issues. That’s a big piece of what Movember is about – Having a conversation.”
Andy: “Before I got involved I never really knew anything about prostate cancer. I’d never grown a mustache before. But now having been involved with Movember for so long and meeting people along the way and having conversations, you realize that everyone has been touched by cancer. It’s difficult to find someone who has zero ties to these health issues. Watching it grow and really get people involved in their own health – and changing that mindset – is remarkable.”
Since 2003, more than 1.9 million participants have raised over $299MM for the cause, with official Movember campaigns taking place in 21 countries. In 2011, Austin had 2,693 registrants who raised $377.708.78. And in 2010, there were 1,606 Austin Mo Bros and Mo Sistas registered who raised $166,428.99.
With Movember 2012 right around the corner, it’s time to Shave the Date! Austinites can participate in a couple of Shave the Date events – one central at HandleBar and one north at the Park at the Domain. Shave the Date participants are encouraged to shave down to grow a Mo and use the hashtags #Movember and #ShavetheDate when sharing event updates and photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and other social media.
To register and stay up to date on everything Movember, visit: