Be Inspired

Say ‘MO’ to prostate cancer: The ‘Movember’ Project

Movember prostate cancer

Movember foundation to raise awareness against Men’s health issues:

We’re all familiar with the conventional saying “ Charity begins at home”, but what I’m going to talk about today is the unconventional start of an incredible journey of AdamGarone of Australia, the CEO of the Movember Foundation. The word ‘Mo’ is an Australian slang for moustache. The idea for ‘Movember’ was born in 2003 when TravisGarone and his mate Luke Slattery got together to have a couple of beers and after a few beers, eventually their conversation turned to the almost dying vogue of the 70s – the moustache. They wondered if they could bring the trend back. One thought led to another and the two friends realized that there are almost no campaigns to create awareness regarding men’s health. Finding inspiration from the women around them who took an active part in raising funds and spreading awareness about breast cancer and other women’s health issues, they decided to marry the idea of bringing the moustache back to creating awareness about men’s health, prostate cancer in particular because they considered it as the male equivalent to the female breast cancer. Throughout the world, a large number of young men are victims of prostate cancer and they decided to take some serious steps to change the scenario of men’s health, “one moustache at a time”.

In 2004, Travis and Luke decided to legitimize the challenge of growing a Mo, agreeing to charge ten dollars for each Mo. After designing the Movember logo, Traviscirculated an email saying “Are you man enough to be my man?” 30 guys took up the challenge with such enthusiasm that it encouraged AdamGarone, Travis’ brother, to take the game to the next level. He created a website and registered for their cause. Adam then approached the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia(PCFA) only to be turned down by them. But that did not stop him as he persisted and around 450 guys registered for the challenge. Consequently,Movember raised 54000 dollars and donated every penny of it to the PCFA, the biggest donation they had ever received.

Campaigns of Movember Foundation:

In 2005, Justin Coghlan (JC) joined the movement and as Movember continued to gain momentum donating the funds raised to the PCFA, it came on board with the Movember team, becoming their first official health partner for men. In 2006, the co-founders established the Movember foundation, thus receiving the status of an official Australian charity. In the same year, ‘beyondblue’: the national initiative for depression and anxiety, signed up as Movember’s second official men’s health partner. Moreover, in 2006 Movember campaign was officially launched in New Zealand in collaboration with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ. In 2007,Movember made progress to Canada, the UK, and Spain and in 2008, Ireland was added to the Movember map. In 2009, USA got included in the Movember checklist and a significant research breakthrough occurred- the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, with the aid of Movember funds identified more than 25 kinds of prostate cancer. The year 2010 was a remarkable year too as South Africa, Finland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic joined hands with the Movember foundation. The same year Movember launched the Global Action Plan to accelerate the research for prostate cancer. The year 2011 saw the inclusion of Belgium, Denmark and Norway in the Movember team and it was ranked among the top 100 best NGOs in the world by the Global Journal. Movember funding led to the development the world’s first Prostate Cancer Genome Mapping Project, thus helping to understand prostate cancer better. In 2012, Movember launched campaigns in France, Germany, Austria, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Movember foundation works on the motto that “Our fathers, partners, brothers, and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. Men are dying too young. We can’t afford to stay silent.” In the years to follow until today the Movember community has continued to grow at a such an extraordinary pace that they are now officially active in 21 countries, according to the data received in 2015. Since it’s initiation in 2003, Movember foundation has come a long way, tackling men’s health problems on a global scale focusing on three core issues: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. The three fundamentals of Movember are :

  • Awareness and education
  • Survivor supports program
  • Research

It has been ranked among the top NGOs in the world consistently over the past few years with over 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas from around the world, thus making Movember the biggest funder of prostate cancer research and support programs in the world.

Movember believes in passion:

The Movember movement is undoubtedly a significant step by a few concerned individuals to make the world a better place. The month of November is all about a Moustache as Adam Garone makes it clear when he says: “Essentially, I’m a moustache farmer and my season is November”. It started as a seemingly weird movement – “30 days of action to stop men dying too young”. But all of it was for a good cause and after all, what’s a little weirdness in the face of worldwide betterment! In over 13 years of its functioning, the Movember foundation has funded more than 1200 health projects related to men’s health, globally. The consistent attempts of the Movember foundation have changed the face of research regarding men’s health worldwide. The journey of Movember had the hardships of its own but despite those Adam Garone built this foundation with his firm belief in the three ‘P’s: Passion, Persistence, and Patience. This is an astounding example of social entrepreneurship displayed by the co-founders of the Movember foundation in their attempt to battle serious issues in a totally unconventional and fun way. This model is clearly an inspiration to all with a passion for making a change and for working actively with a positive mind towards making that change happen.

Watch Adam Garone TED Talk on Movember

Also read: Google’s Project Loon aims to provide internet access to everyone