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    Posted October 27, 2015 by

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    Nav Dhunay, for me, Movember means more than growing a mustache


    Recently I was asked by a friend, “Nav what is your favourite month?”


    As a Calgarian, I do appreciate the temporary heat of summer, but after more careful thought,  November came to mind, or as it has been lovingly re-named, “Movember”.


    Last year, I decided to take part in the Movember festivities, so I grew a moustache.  However, over the month-long journey, I gained much more than just facial hair.  Growing a mustache is only a symbol of the larger movement Movember represents.


    The Movember Foundation is a global men’s health awareness group that aims to raise awareness of health issues that face men.  The organization was founded in 2003 to offer year-round services and guidance to combat prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity, and generally to improve the level of health in men.


    To date, the Movember Movement has raised more than $677 million dollars globally and funds close to 1,000 programs. With a clever slogan of, ‘To have an everlasting impact on the face of men's health,’ Movember has enlisted more than 5 million ‘mo bros’ and ‘mo sistas’ in their awareness campaign.


    Personally, before I commit to anything, I like to ensure that I have done thorough research.  After one quick visit to the Movember website, I was convinced that not only should I participate, I should do my best to educate and inform others of the great work the organization is doing.


    The statistics on the Canadian Movember website were startling. “Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canadian men, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young Canadian men aged 15 – 29, approximately 11 percent of men in Canada will experience major depression in the course of their lives, only 1 in 4 Canadian men met the CSEP exercise guideline.” I felt compelled to advocate for the organization that was working so hard to advocate for me, my father, and the other male figures in my life.


    Since its inception 12 years ago, the worldwide November phenomenon has funded more than 832 men’s health projects. In 2009, the organization helped to fund one of the biggest breakthroughs in prostate cancer research. “Through Movember funding, the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center made a significant research breakthrough identifying that there are 25+ different kinds of prostate cancer,” the official website highlights.


    In Canada, prostate cancer kills 4,100 men a year, and one in eight Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. While the numbers are slowly decreasing nationwide, efforts like Movember continue to be important in raising awareness and generating funding for critical research.


    This year, organizers hope to break previous records and enlist more ‘mo bros’ and ‘mo sistas’ in the global effort to educate society about men’s health issues. I will be one of them.  In the next coming weeks, Movember festivities will begin to ramp up, and ‘staches will abound.  And when someone asks, “Nav Dhunay why are you growing a moustache?”, I will proudly say to save a life.

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