By GWYDION MORRIS
Nov. 14, 2014
Mark Fisher can grow an impressive mustache in as little as three days. That’s fitting since he’s the co-chair and founder of the Charlottetown Movember Committee.
Fisher was inspired to start the Charlottetown chapter after hearing Movember CEO Adam Garone speak at an event.
Garone’s passion for men’s health touched Fisher and prompted him to contact Garone about bringing Movember to the east coast.
Freshly shaved members sign up for Movember at the start of November and grow their mustaches all month while raising donations for Movember charities focusing on cancers affecting men, such as prostate and testicular.
Raising funds is the goal they get members to aim for, but raising awareness is equally as important, Fisher said.
“The real goal is to get people educated.”
In previous years, 1,000 people have registered for the Charlottetown chapter. Across Canada, numbers have gone as high as 100,000.
“We hope everyone signs up.”
At the end of the month the donations are counted. Charlottetown has raked in $120,000 in recent years. Last year, the national Movember campaign raised $37 million, Fisher said.
He hopes the Charlottetown chapter will continue to grow, but doesn’t want to push the cause on people.
“I want it to get as big as Charlottetown wants it to be,” he said. “It’s a fun social thing to do, too.”
Josh Vessey is the events and marketing coordinator at Holland College and this is the fifth year he’s taking part in Movember.
He got involved because it’s a cool concept to raise awareness and money for men’s health. Though he hasn’t had time to raise funds in the last two Movembers, just having a mustache can get people asking questions, Vessey said.
“It’s important to have a conversation about men’s health.”
Vessey is still following the progress the Charlottetown Movember Committee is making through their email updates.
By now, if you’re not involved in Movember, you’re in the minority, he said.
“I’m so impressed with how popular they’ve become.”
Vessey is growing the classic broom handle mustache.
Claire Nantes is the cancer prevention coordinator with the Canadian Cancer Society’s P.E.I. division.
Movember is a great cause on the Island as P.E.I. has the highest rate of prostate cancer in Canada. The incident rate is 27 per cent higher than the rest of the country, and the mortality rate is 35 per cent higher. Nobody knows why, Nantes said.
“We don’t have the answers.”
There were 140 new cases of prostate cancer this year and 25 deaths, Nantes said.
The number of cases has been declining in recent years. Twenty years ago there were 45 deaths a year, she said.
“More people are living with it. Though it’s still quite concerning.”