Why I’m Participating in MOVEMBER

Movember is a movement I’ve joined to grow a moustache (and beard) and to raise funds for men’s health issues. To prove that I really have started on this project I’m inserting a couple of photos my wife just took – she’s named them “Fuzzy napping” and “Fuzzy awake.”

The two main men’s health issues for Movember are awareness and research regarding prostate cancer and men’s mental health. Other issues of men’s health are also covered, including non-malignant skin cancer – and that’s mainly what caused me to want to participate. I have been undergoing treatment for numerous breakouts of non-malignant skin cancer growths on my head, face, ear, nose, etc. The reason for all these cancers goes all the way back to my time as a young airman serving in the Royal Air Force in Egypt during the pre-Suez crisis time (1951-53). I’ll quote from my autobiography “From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada” to show you the connection.

“Our camp had a very high water tower, about a 120-foot climb, ‘Yours Truly’ decided to scale it one nice sunny day with a blanket over my shoulder. I laid the blanket on the roof of the tank, stripped absolutely bare and laid down on my back to get ‘nicely tanned all over,’ or so I thought. I was young and dumb enough at that time to ignore the fact that I’m a typical ‘Celt’ with a very ruddy complexion (described as ‘fresh’ on my military papers) and so, a tan for me was next to impossible. Anyway, I laid myself down and almost immediately fell asleep. I awakened approximately two hours later, burnt to a crisp! Ah, that bloody hot Egyptian sun!!!

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t report sick to get any treatment because all military personnel were classified as ‘government property.’ As I had damaged myself in my effort to get a sun tan, I could have been put on a charge and court-martialled for damaging government property! For days I walked about with my hands holding my pants legs out from my tortured thighs– even my ‘willie’ was sun burnt! It was terrible–even going for a pee was very painful.

“(I’ll never forget that episode in my life; doubly so because it left me with a condition called ‘Solar Keritosis’ in my later years–a pre-cancerous skin condition for which I now have to have regular sessions where my doctor freezes off the lesions, mostly on my head, with liquid nitrogen. Lately, I’ve had three surgeries to remove basal cell carcinomas from my scalp, on the tip of my nose and near my eye. Ever since, I always cover myself with long sleeves and a hat when in the sun. Just a wee bit too late!)”

I’ve just made a donation towards Movember health funds and invite you to do so as well. If you wish, you can join the initiative yourself as a Mo-bro or Mo-Sista or you can donate via my Movember site. The size of your donation depends on what you can afford, every little bit helps Movember to continue funding its world class programs.  If you want to know more about what you’ll be helping to fund, you can visit http://ca.movember.com/about/funding-overview/.

Take a look at these statistics:
•    1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
•    This year 26,500 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed
•    1 in 5 men will experience a mental illness this year

  •  I will also add a statistic: There are about 230 non-melanoma skin cancers per 100,000 population in light colored skin as opposed to approximately 3.5 per 100,000 in darkly pigmented individuals. There are approximately four basal cell carcinomas to every one squamous cell carcinoma. The incidence has more than doubled in the last 20 years.

If you’d like to help make a change to these statistics, please donate. If you wish, go to my Movember site: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/5695601.

6 thoughts on “Why I’m Participating in MOVEMBER

    • Thanks for your response, Francis. I agree, we do need to be aware of the stats – and also to contribute to the cause if we are able. In addition to our monetary contribution, my wife Gayle has purchased and is wearing silver earrings shaped like little moustaches for the month of November. That’s her visual support for the Movember cause. They are cute, too.

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