Wednesday, November 2, 2011

For the Sake of Men this Movember.

It's not uncommon that I support causes.  It's also not uncommon that I've joined causes, ones that are bigger than myself and claim the lives of others.  So you shouldn't be surprised to read this Dandygram about what the next one is all about...

Moustache Season--better known as Movember--is upon us, and you all can be damn sure I've registered myself this year.  In fact, I've gotten other great guys and gals to register for Movember where we'll embrace the hair of the wild.

Basically, I've pledged to cultivate a genuine, 100% face grown moustache for the entire month of November.  Why, you ask?  To raise awareness and funds for men's health, specifically cancers affecting men.  To start this month, I have sent emails to my DC Mo Bros, Mo Sistas, and am now dedicating this Dandygram to it, too.  More importantly, I would like to ask you, my trusty and fearless readers, to join me by signing up or donating or growing a moustache or being a Mo Sista or just simply encouraging the men in your life to think about our health.  Together, we can change the face of men's health and do it in a thoughtful, fun way.  

Before I get more into what the Movember movement is all about, here are some cold, hard facts and a very personal story to put my involvement into better context:

Did you know that 1 in 6 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime?  True story.  Also, 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.  Thirteen million adult men over the age of 20 in the United States have diabetes--and a third don't even know it.  One in eight men who suffer from mental illness actually seek help, and finally, a third of the 571,950 cancer deaths expected to occur in 2011 will be related to obesity, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and thus could be prevented.  Those are just the cold, hard facts of the matter.  Now, here is my personal story and the reason for my involvement this particular year:

During August 2011, my stepdad was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  He became one of the six who get diagnosed.  After a colonoscopy, a tumor was detected--and buried--in the transverse (horizontal) section of his colon and very close to his spleen.  Ligaments hold the colon in place there, so the doctor had to cut out a major part of that section and re-attach the pieces.  In all, he had about 14 inches removed from his lower intestine and now has a gnarly scar.  Presently, he is days away from going in for a second opinion to discover whether he will undergo chemotherapy.  He is just one.  One story of the millions of affected men, but he's the one that has made this month personal for me.

My dear readers - as more people (men and women both) become involved in Movember, more lives will be impacted.  It's plain and simple, but with a hairy twist!  Guys (Mo Bros): start growing your moustaches today, and tomorrow, make a statement, provoke conversation in the workplace, talk with your friends, call your doctor for a check up, style it for Thanksgiving over the turkey and dumplings, smile while riding your bike or in the coffee shop or everywhere.  For the sake of men, be healthy.  Gals (Mo Sistas): support your guys this month as they grow out a moustache, smile about the irritation from the fact we're growing moustaches, encourage us to visit our doctors and get ourselves checked out, make healthy meals with us, and remember, the moustache will be gone on December 1.

Here are the rules, and it's not too late to participate:

Now, if you truly want to take part in what I've joined (along with my friends) and start raising money for men's health, then get registered with DC Moustachery here (it's FREE and no moustache growing is required...that means you Mo Sistas!).  With that done, Movember will send you all the information you need to start raising awareness and funds on your own or with us for men's health.  We've had a good first two days -- $110 for the cause! -- but that's just the tip of the iceberg (or should I say the stubble above our upper lips) for Movember, DC Moustachery and men's health!

If you would like to participate, but don't want to register or grow a moustache, you can always donate directly to our cause by typing in "Trevor Sparks" here or "DC Moustachery" here.  All proceeds go to the cause, not me.  I promise, and it's really that simple, but honestly, more than your money and new Movember moustaches, I want you all to know it's cooler than cool to be healthy.  I just rock a moustache as a reminder (pictures and a Moustache Party coming soon!).

Movember will now forever be a part of my future Novembers, and as your friend, I ask that you please take a stand with me too.  It only takes one to make a difference, but working together, we can make and do so much more.  I leave you with a moustache style guide:

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