Why have men the world over, including TUI’s very own Josh and Pete, been sporting a dazzling array of facial fuzz on their top lips throughout the month of Movember (the month formerly known as November)?
Whilst the answer to that will be as diverse and varied as the facial hair these gents are displaying, there is one common goal that unites them all.
The Movember Foundation are a global organisation committed to changing the face of men’s health. They encourage men across the globe to unite in the month of Movemeber to change their faces by sporting Mo’s of every variation imaginable to support the Foundation in their commitment.
Research shows that men have an increased tendency to ignore the signs their bodies give them that something isn’t quite right, and have a reluctance to focus on their physical and mental health.
“I’ll be OK”
“I don’t like doctors”
“I don’t want to be an inconvenience”
It’s perhaps a little unfair to generalise based on gender. There will undoubtedly be females of the species who share the same reluctance. However, as Movember specifically concentrates on the fellas, my blog is mainly aimed at you gentlemen.
There is every chance that you will ‘be OK’ and it might well be ‘nothing’.
But can you really be sure? Are you medically qualified to decide this? Is it really worth the risk and undue worry by not getting checked out and finding out for sure?
I know. It’s easy for me to say what you should be doing. How do I really know what it’s like?
You’re right. I don’t. I can’t possibly know what it feels like for you.
What I can do though, is share my experience of the impact a man not paying attention to those signs has had on me. What you choose to do with that information is your choice, and yours alone.
John was a family man. The type of guy that would do anything for anyone. A man that worked hard, tried to live a Christian life, inspiring and encouraging others to do the same. A good man.
John didn’t like doctors. He didn’t want to trouble them with the little niggles he experienced. John didn’t want to be an inconvenience. John would be ‘OK’.
But John wasn’t OK.
John had prostate cancer.
When John eventually overcame his dislike of doctors and realised that he wasn’t an inconvenience John had to prepare himself, and his family for the mother of all battles.
But John was a fighter. He fought to beat the cancer. He fought to protect his family. They had already been through the heartache of losing his wife to breast cancer, he wasn’t going to let it get him. He fought hard to live.
The cancer spread to his bones - one of the most excruciatingly painful cancers there is.
Still he fought. But within 10 months of his first diagnosis, cancer claimed another victim.
John wasn’t just a brave, hardworking, Christian family man.
John was something else.
John was my dad.
Now I can’t say if the outcome of John’s story would have been any different if he hadn’t ignored those warning signs. There’s still no guarantee he would be here today.
But he might have been.
So if men growing moustaches for one month of the year raises awareness and understanding of the health risks men face, encourages them to take action to remain well, and raises vital funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health programmes for men in a fun and engaging way, then I’m in.
We can all do something to help – whether that’s supporting our fellas with the growing of Mo’s, encouraging the men we love to remain well, or by making monetary donations to the Movember Campaign. Together we stand a fighting chance of keeping our men folk well, and not losing any more of the good guys.
A reassuring point for those less enamoured with the addition of Mo’s on their nearest and dearest is that unlike the Movember Foundation aim to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health, the impact on the face of your beloved is only for 30 days!
As I have mentioned both Josh and Pete have become TUI Mo Bro’s to support the cause. In doing so they have faced the ridicule of students, friends and co-workers and more importantly - upset their respective wives!
Let’s not make their sacrifice in vain!
It would be both amazing and hugely appreciated by all of TUI – including those not currently sporting Mo’s, if you felt able to make a donation – no matter how small to either Josh or Pete’s MoSpace.
And if you can’t make a monetary donation, that’s cool. We completely understand.
Instead why not take 5 minutes to check that someone you love is looking after themselves?
It might turn out to be the most valuable 5 minutes of both your lives.