As many men and women the world over have come to learn, November has taken on the moniker `Movember'. The month-long campaign involves growing a moustache as part of an effort to raise awareness of men's health-prostate cancer, in specific.
The unusual initiative was born in Australia seven years ago, by a group of men hoping to bring discussion of the subject out in the open, and thereby increase screenings and early detection. The moustache is a talking point, however, to tie together the various fundraising activities and competitions that go along with the campaign.
As of this week-and for the first time in mo-history-Canada is leading the Movember drive. Around 112,000 Mo Bros and their female supporters (Mo Sistas) have raised $11 million. This is a significant leap from last year's $7.8 million.
Catherine Patterson, a spokeswoman for Prostate Cancer Canada, says that the idea behind the campaign is to get men to discuss "below-the-belt" medical issues. "No guy is going to walk up and start discussing prostate cancer, but he might high-five another guy on the street and say `Nice moustache'".
Men in their 20s and 30s make up the majority of Mo Bros. There are also plenty of bankers, lawyers and accountants backing the movement. Vancouver's police department is also participating, with its `Mo in Motion' team having already raised $2,546. A five-member group at a Vancouver marketing research Company-`Team Wispy Business'-has raised $900.