– Graeme Gordon, staff
For the entire month of November,men across the world have donned moustaches in support of men’s health and the Movember movement. The global phenomenon has reached the Laurier Brantford campus, where male students, faculty and staff have skipped shaving above their upper lips to let thick and bushy—in some cases thin and fuzzy—moustaches grow or the movements slang term “Mo’s”.
The Movember charity began in Melbourne Australia in 1999 and has since grown exponentially into a global phenomenon. The Movember charity calls their members “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas” for the men and women who take part in raising awareness for men’s health and who collect donations to help fight prostate cancer, testicular cancer and male depression.
Mo Bro Cameron McGregor, a fifth year Concurrent Education student, officially created the first Laurier Brantford Movember team three years ago and called them the WLU Brantford Lip Ticklers. McGregor, now sporting a thick, 18 day ‘stache, says, “I joined the cause in my second year because my friend’s dad had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. I started growing a Mo halfway through the month that year to support her family.”
After McGregor’s first year participating in the hairy November trend, he decided to create the Brantford Lip Ticklers to continue to raise awareness about men’s health and to raise funds to fight prostate cancer, the number one cancer killer of men.
“I’m amazed at the difference between the awareness of breast cancer in comparison with prostate cancer. The rate of the two cancers is about the same,” says McGregor. “Everyone knows what the pink ribbon stands for and is aware of breast cancer, yet not nearly as many people know about prostate cancer.”
McGregor believes that the Movember movement is doing a great job of reducing the disparity between the awareness of these two equally common cancers.
Chris Tang, another fifth year in Concurrent Education, is also part of McGregor’s Lip Ticklers and has been growing a Mo all month long. As the month has gone on, Tang has grown a bit tired of his Mo. “It was okay before, adding a nice little change to my appearance,” he says. “But as it grows longer, it becomes less comfortable and looks creepier. At this point I’m just waiting to shave it off, but I’ll wait until the end of the month.” Although he is not impressed with his moustache, Tang stays true to the cause.
McGregor thinks part of the fun about being part of the Movember community is “when you’re walking down the street and you see another guy with an awkward looking ‘stache and you know they are only growing it for the cause.”
There is a definite comradeship amongst Mo Bros.
So far the Lip Ticklers have collectively raised $1,300 between the 16 registered members. “This year we’ve blown the past years out of the water,” says McGregor. “Our goal this year is $2,000 and it looks like we’re on track to making that happen.”
Some of the professors have also been supporting the cause by sprouting Mo’s. Gary Warrick, a professor in Contemporary and Indigenous Studies, and Kris Gerhardt, an assistant professor, have both grown moustaches for the month. Warrick grew his to support his friend and his father who have both been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Warrick says, “It’s tragic that Jack Layton died of the disease.”
Now there was a man with a legendary Mo. Warrick also mentioned that he is impressed with, the Associate Professor of Contemporary Studies, Robert Feagan’s whiskers. “Rob has one of the best moustaches on campus—a classic white walrus one.”
There is concern from McGregor about what will happen to the Lip Ticklers next year. He is not sure whether or not he will return as captain of the team next year as an alumnus or if he will pass the torch on to another student or a faculty member. McGregor says, “It’s been hard maintaining membership numbers because most of the members are in their last year and will be gone next year.”
He hopes to somehow coordinate with Health Services next year so that they can use their resources to support a month long men’s health event.
For more information on Movember Canada check out http://ca.movember.com/ to join or support the WLU Brantford Lip Ticklers join the Facebook group, Movember!!! Help support the WLU Brantford Lip Ticklers!!!