Two and a half years ago, I got a call from my mother. Nothing unusual about that, right? After the typical chit-chats and how-do-you-dos, the real purpose of her call was revealed: Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
This, obviously, hit the family hard. I’ve written about him before, so you may have an idea about what he means to me. The idea of losing him had never entered my mind before, even though he was in his late 60s.
Now,we were all worried about what the diagnosis means, what impact it will have on his life, and the family. All but my dad, that is. From the minute of the diagnosis, he held his head up and declared he was going to beat the cancer. And beat it he did.
Not every man is my Dad, though.
This year, over 192,000 men will be affected by prostate cancer, and more than 27,000 will die from it. One new case occurs every 2.7 minutes and a man dies from prostate cancer every 19 minutes. Right now, it’s estimated that over 2 million men are living with prostate cancer. That’s the equivalent of every man in Los Angeles.
The social media men of Boston are doing something about it.
Actually, we’re doing something by not doing something. A group of us have teamed up (as TeamBoston, of course) and promised to not shave our top lip for all of November to raise funds for cancer research. That’s right, it’s Movember.
The Movember Foundation raises funds for the Livestrong: the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation, two of the leading organizations fighting prostate and testicular.
And just to make it more fun, we’re competing against Austin to see who can raise more money.
We’ve set up a TeamBoston Flickr group to share our progress. Right now, we’re 10 days in, and things are getting a bit awkward. I get odd looks when I’m out in public (which is a lot). My coworkers have said I look creepy; a new coworker thought this was just what I did.
It’s for a good cause, so I let my vanity take a back seat for a month.
What you can do
Support my Mo by donating on the Movember site. Learn about the signs of prostate and testicular cancer. And if you see a man with an awkward mustache, give him a smile – he’s probably suffering for someone he loves.