By John Ployer
UPEI students Luke Thompson (left) and Thomas Claybourne (right) are growing mustaches for this year’s Movember
UPEI students are growing out their ‘staches and going on runs to raise money for men’s health in this year’s Movember.
Students have many reasons to take part, but for psychology student Thomas Claybourne, events in his own life are what inspired him to raise awareness of men’s cancers.
“Couple years back myself and my family thought that my grandfather had prostate cancer, thankfully he did not, but It was a real eye-opener for myself, and it’s something that you hope no one has to go through,” he said.
Movember, an annual campaign which encourages men to grow mustaches to raise awareness of men’s cancers, attracts dozens of UPEI students to take part each year.
Claybourne says he’s noticed a surge of awareness since the Movember campaign first began a few years ago.
“A while back it wasn’t a really big thing, no one really was aware of the issue, but since men started to grow out their moustache for this cause it’s created worldwide awareness.”
In 2017, around 21,300 Canadian men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and around 1200 were diagnosed with testicular cancer. Movember has also come to include men’s mental health and suicide prevention programs.
In 2018 Movember Canada raised $18.1 million for awareness, treatment, and prevention programs.
Luke Thompson, a fourth year business student, told the Cadre that part of Movember is breaking the stigma towards getting check for male diseases like prostate cancer.
“It’s a strange stigma that presents the issue in full view but played as a male weakness or a minor inconvenience rather than the life threatening situation that is rocking someone’s entire world,” he said.
Thompson, who works at the Fox & Crow, is also giving 100% of his tips with month to Movember. He has currently raised $580.
Another way Thompson is further addressing men’s health this year is through a mental health initiative called Move for Movember. The initiative consists of running 60km over the course of the month for the 60 men who commit suicide every hour across the globe.
He added that it is not just about raising awareness of male diseases, but about starting the conversations around why men do not try and get help, including the prevalence of mental illness among men.
“Mental health continues to be an important area of our own growth as a society. Understanding and confronting terrible topics such as depression, social disorders, autism, suicide, etc. will allow us to remove ourselves from the ‘this happens to other people, not normal people like me’ mentality, he said”
“It affects all of us and nobody is immune.”
Movember runs until the end of November, those interested can donate to Thomas or Luke’s Movember pages by following the link here and searching for their names: https://ca.movember.com/