Tom Abadie raises awareness to the importance of Movember in the prevention of prostate and testicular cancer
It all starts by removing all facial hair at the end of October or the first day of November; and then you let it grow for a month: “No shave November”. Some may continue to shave their beards or style their moustaches whether it’s one like Salvador Dali or an impressive goatee like in American Western movies. Others, like me, just let it grow untamed. Not only can the clean shave be quite a shock if you have quite lot of facial hair, but the end result (can be) striking as well. The aim is to raise awareness, start discussions and ultimately raise funds for the research. Getting the subject out there is the most important as a majority of the public aren’t aware of the different forms of cancer, but also that anyone can be diagnosed with any form of these cancers. No matter whether you do sports or smoke, prostate and testicular cancer can happen to anyone. By donating, you are potentially helping millions of men and their loved ones around the globe when diagnosed with cancer. But you are also raising awareness around you, encouraging people to get checked out for prevention and an early diagnosis.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Movember has become very popular across the globe. The charity has raised over £400 million since 2003 as of 2015. But how did it start and what made it so successful?
It started in 2003 by Travis Garone and Luke Slattery in Melbourne, Australia. They wanted to bring back the moustache and they got 30 guys involved. Their aim was to generate conversation around men’s health as a whole. The movement rapidly grew thanks to their website and an excellent idea. Australia was taken over by the idea and in just two years they raised over £500,000 even before spreading the word in other parts of the world.
In 2006-2007, they start partnering up with other countries, first New Zealand then Canada, Spain, the USA and eventually the UK. Not only were they becoming known worldwide, they were also entering the millions of pounds raised and the hundreds of men’s health projects funded since its creation.
With Movember funding, the University of Michigan made a breakthrough, identifying more than 25 different kinds of prostate cancer. This new information boosted the campaign as people started realising that there is a real issue: there should be more focus on men’s health.
The charity became official in more and more countries, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas reached the significant mark of one million in 2010, which they practically doubled in the next year.
In Canada, Australia and the UK, Movember launched the Social Innovators Challenge. The project aimed to develop, pilot and evaluate 13 innovative projects to restore and strengthen the social connections of men, particularly those at risk of becoming socially isolated.
In 2017, Movember Foundation was ranked 49th out of the top 500 NGOs around the world. With the conversation flowing between people, organisations, health projects and research labs, the subject of men’s health reached heights never attained before.
I personally have been part of the Mo community for 5 years and have raised over £300. I began by raising money in high school with cash, and raised on average £35, including donations from friends and family. When I arrived at the University of Essex, I decided to take it a step further and create an online fundraiser on Facebook. This way both my friends from France and the UK could donate. I raised £75 pounds in 2017 and have raised over £160 this year, showing that this way of raising money is very effective.
The logo can be easily recognised and fortunately the charity have been doing so well across the years, but it still needs your support. So, donate to the Movember Foundation now, even after the end of November, by going to their Facebook page or their website.