Movember. I like to fly the flag high. Everybody who knows me, knows I go nuts for it. Most people think it's probably a bit of a laugh and doing a bit for charity. Me...I have never lost anyone to prostate cancer and none of my friends (touch wood) have ever suffered from testicular cancer, the two main beneficiaries of funds that Movember raises. However, in October 2010 I lost my cousin. I attended the funeral, complete with moustache...it was Movember after all...carried his coffin and laid him to rest. Something I planned on doing? No. Something I wanted to do? Definitely not. One of the hardest things I've done in my life? Without a shadow of a doubt. He was 22, young, fit, healthy, tee-total, played rugby, studying for his PhD...enjoying life. He was also a diabetic.
In the last 8 years I've watched the charity go from strength to strength and develop into the powerhouse movement the covers the globe in moustaches every November. In that time, I've watched as they branched out into new areas, highlighting things that you don't really think about...or don't really want to think about...but that really we ought to think about. Things about male health in general and not just the cancers that affect men. The awareness that it can go wrong and it could affect you. A lot of us live under the auspices of, "It'll never happen to me", and that may turn out to be true but blissful ignorance isn't the cure. It doesn't have to be you. It could be your mate, or your brother...or your cousin.
"Mate, you look like crap. You checked your levels?"
And that's kind of where the MoBro's began - "How's your health?" - Just that little nudge to make you think, "Actually I'm not alright"...and also so you know you mates are there looking out for you.
That's why I do Movember now...and The MoBro's? The internet is doing it's thing with them...be nice. They're not there asking you to donate. They're asking you to look out for you mates.