Movember is more than guys growing moustaches: It's a global movement to stop men from dying too young.
"Men are facing a health crisis that isn't being talked about," the Movember Foundation's website boldy states. "We're taking action and we need your help."
Driving this call to action is the alarming statistic that men on average die six years earlier than women. The charity hopes to change that stat and help men everywhere lead longer, healthier lives.
Targeting men's biggest health issues
During Movember, held annually in November, men and women around the world join forces to raise funds for research of several health issues men face: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
The Movember Foundation grew from humble origins into a worldwide phenomenon and is the only charity dedicated to supporting men's health on a global scale. Based on its past success raising funds, the Movember Foundation estimates that it will reduce the number of young men dying prematurely by 25% by 2030.
Let's take a closer look at the story of Movember and how you can get involved:
The history of Movember
Movember started in 2003, in Australia, with 30 men who decided to bring the moustache back into fashion. After seeing the media attention the group received, the leaders of the pack decided to give the movement a higher purpose. They registered as a charity and raised funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA). People started to take notice, and the next year the PCFA became Movember's first official health partner.
Since then, Movember has grown into a global movement, with participants – called Mo Bros and Mo Sistas – in 21 countries.
Today, there are more than 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas around the world! The Movember Foundation has been ranked in the top 50 non-governmental-organizations globally and has funded 1,200 men's health projects since 2003.
In addition to furthering medical understanding and treatments of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental illness and suicide, Movember seeks to reduce the stigma surrounding men seeking help for physical and emotional issues.
Movember in Canada
The Movember Foundation launched in Canada in 2007 in partnership with Prostate Cancer Canada. Some of the projects that have been funded include the GAP5 Testicular Cancer Translational Research Project, the Canadian Men's Health & Wellbeing Innovation Challenge and the GAP2 Advanced Prostate Cancer Imaging Initiative. Last year, it raised $15.5 million in Canada, according to the Ottawa Business Journal.
"To truly create an impact, we need every single person supporting men's health – the more funds we raise and the more awareness we spread this Movember, the less likely men are to die before their time," said Kevin Edwards, Movember Country Director for Canada.
Many local businesses across Canada hold events to help kick off Movember. Capital Barber Shop in Ottawa, for example, hosted a Movember gathering where men could get a shave and make a donation to the charity, the Ottawa Business Journal reported. Hockey Fights Cancer, an initiative of the NHL Foundation, also works with the Movember Foundation to raise funds for prostate cancer research.
"Both women and men are encouraged to raise funds by walking, running or cycling, or hosting an event."
How you can participate in Movember
The Movember Foundation has three ways to fundraise: grow a moustache, participate in a physical activity or host an event.
Men can pledge to grow a 'stache for 30 days and collect donations for the cause. Both men and women are encouraged to raise funds by walking, running or cycling, or hosting an event in their local community.
Moustaches may seem insignificant, but they're making a big difference in the lives of men and those who love them. Whether you're a man or woman, you can help stop men from dying prematurely by finding ways that you can support Movember this month.