“I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March of 1994. I survived, but since then, over 175,000 American men haven’t. The good news is that this war can be won with a combination of early detection, treatment and a commitment to ongoing research.” Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf
The first time I read Bloggers for Movember, a post that Eric Robillard aka Le Clown of A Clown on Fire wrote as an invitation to the blogging community to join forces in raising awareness for prostate cancer and mental health issues, I was stoked. I jumped right in informing Le Clown that I was on-board, liked the Facebook page, and quickly added the banner to my blog. Then I read up on how the Movember movement started and was deeply impressed.
In case you don’t know, one auspicious day in Australia, Adam Garone, co-founder of Movember and a group of male friends “conceived the idea of raising awareness and funds to support men’s health and find a cure for prostate cancer.” In 2004, the first fundraising year, 450 guys raised $54,000 for the cause. By 2011, with social media exposure and increased participation, over 854,000 global participants donated, shared or grew mustaches and raised $126.3 million USD. Is that magical thinking or what? This time, Le Clown would love us to add our voices and blog, share, grow a mustache, donate and help spread the word. Can you help? Read Le Clown’s 1st Movember post here.
“I appear at times merry and in good heart, talk, too, before others quite reasonably, and it looks as if I felt, too, God knows how well within my skin. Yet the soul maintains its deathly sleep and the heart bleeds from a thousand wounds.” Hugo Wolf
The Rules of Movember with Mo Sista Kelli
As I thought about what else to share, I realized that even though prostate cancer has not touched men I’ve met or known in my life, other forms of cancer and mental health issues have. Suicide has. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is the 7th leading cause of death for males. When a dear friend commits suicide or falls into a deep depression after getting a cancer diagnosis, it is a mental health issue. When an untreated cough or pain in the groin is later diagnosed as stage IV cancer, it leads to a mental health crisis and much suffering. Cancer is an insidious disease so regular checkups and being attentive to health changes is imperative.
Cancer has also touched the lives of some of my female friends and family. Recently, a classmate and dear friend from my high school days, Remi Osholake, passed away from ovarian cancer. Her death was a painful reminder that more funding, research and methods of early detection are needed and that no one, male or female, even the healthiest amongst us, is immune. But we can do something about it. We can raise awareness, donate to the cause, and get the word out as a reminder to our friends, family and the world. Would you like to participate? Read Le Clown’s 2nd Movember post here. More below!