Movember: A Month to Remember

Rahman Mohamed

It’s not a typo: from here on in, November is Movember, a man is a “mo bro”, a woman is a “mo sista”, and a moustache is a “mo”.

So what exactly is Movember? It’s a month created to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. On Movember 1, a mo bro starts off clean-shaven. With the help of his supporters, he spends the next month cultivating a mo, with the party that mo sistas usually throw on Movember 30 to look forward to at the finish line.

While growing a mo, funds and awareness are raised for male health—specifically for prostate cancer. Donations are made to different organizations around the world. As a charitable institution, Movember Canada sends its donations to Prostate Cancer Canada.

The Australians who created Movember had a vision. The first campaign in 2003 registered only 30 people from Melbourne, Australia, but in 2010 over 400,000 men and women registered. Over the years, Movember has grown, with funds jumping from at $42.6 million by 2009, and nearly doubling in 2010 to $76.8 million.

Over $175 million has been raised by over 1.1 million mo bros and sistas from around the world. With formal campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, USA, the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa, Ireland, as well as Canada, Movember’s reached every corner of the globe.

Movember in Canada is growing too. Last year, Canadians raised almost 29 per cent of the global total—just over $22 million from only 500,000 donors.

Matt Smith, a member of York’s health ed team, says a lot of motivation to join the cause this year comes from“how many people grew great, awkward and hilarious moustaches in support of the event last year.”

“Nobody really thinks it is a bad idea if you are ‘brave’ enough to do it,” he says.

“It’s a way to spread awareness, support a cause, and have fun while doing it.”

It goes to an honourable cause—cancer affects everybody, be it through friends or family.

“And don’t forget to take pictures for Facebook,” reminds Smith.


First published November 2, 2011, Excalibur, page 22, Health, York University
Available online

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