Movember movement saves lives


By Oliver Van Aken

During the month of November, Michael Guiant, freshman, struts his facial hair. Photo by Oliver Van Aken

Many students may be familiar with, or even participated in, “No Shave November,” a similar movement, Movember, focuses on moustaches otherwise known as mo’s. Movember is an organization that combats health issues that men of all ages face, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and suicide. This is similar to how people wear pink to bring awareness to breast cancer or the ice bucket challenge for ALS: the moustache is meant to be a conversation starter about health issues among men.

The first year Movember started, there was 30 members, or Mo Bros. As of 2017, there are 5,542,507 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas. The movement came to the U.S. in 2007, in 2009 it obtained official charity league status.

Movember movements are very open when it comes to how to prevent young men from dying. Part of their mission is to have men check their bodies regularly to know if they have one of the two most common cancers in men, testicular and prostate cancer.

“Unfortunately my grandpa passed away from cancer,” Carly Broth, freshman, said. “I am happy there is an organization trying to help.”

The movement attempts to raise awareness to show how mental illness affects men, their high suicide rate, and their lower life expectancy compared to women. Their main point is that men need to hang out with other men and connect, social and emotional relationships help keep the mind in a safe state.

“I like to know that there are organizations that are there to help out my classmates that may be suffering from mental illness,” Quin Walch, sophomore, said.

Last month the movement was sponsored in major public events not only in the U.S., but also in Mexico, Canada, Australia, and UK.

The movement is recognized across the country, from the US Bank Tower lighting up in green and blue to support men’s health in Los Angeles, to NYPD police officers re-growing their mustaches and putting the Movember logos on their police cars.

Movember even infiltrated the United States Military when some members of the third Marine Regiment shaved their moustaches in the beginning of the month and grew them back to start their November Mo’. James Pollerna, the Corporate Development Manager for Movember, also threw the first pitch at a Dodgers game to sponsor the movement.

Movember’s main mission is to teach and educate everyone about health issues facing men, both mental and physical, so that we can advance together as one human race.

“I think Movember is a great organization,” Michael Garritano, freshman, said. “Young men who have been affected by these illnesses now know they have someone fighting for them.”

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Oliver Van Aken is a Junior, and this is his 3rd year on “The Roar” staff. This is also his 2nd year being editor, this year he is Opinion Editor. Oliver loves writing features and opinion pieces, especially ones related to current events. In his spare time he enjoys gardening, yoga, reading, and finding new music. He also performs community service work through Young Men’s Service League. Oliver intends on finishing High School and going to college for a degree Journalism/Economics.