Movember team motivated to change face of men’s health

As longtime volunteer firefighters, Kelly Rusk and Brian Norman have faced a lot of challenges.

LOCAL VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS are growing moustaches as part of the annual Movember campaign to raise awareness of prostate cancer and funds for research.

As longtime volunteer firefighters, Kelly Rusk and Brian Norman have faced a lot of challenges.

When Brian announced that he’d been diagnosed with prostate cancer last May, Kelly knew he had to show his support.

“Because of my dad’s diagnosis and passing 20 years ago and Brian’s diagnosis this year it seemed like an opportune time to do something,” she says.

Kelly explains, “Volunteer firefighters meet every Tuesday, it was at one of these meetings that Brian and I presented the idea of growing moustaches to raise awareness. 20 of us have now agreed to put our facial hair to good use and we are all fundraising as part of Movember’s annual campaign.”

Movember is a month-long global event in November where men grow moustaches to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues. The growth of a moustache on an otherwise bare lip sparks both public and private discussion — Mo Bros effectively becoming walking, talking billboards for men’s health for one month.

In Canada, funds raised go to our men’s health partner Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC) and Movember Foundation programs.

Movember is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches around the world. Through the power of the moustache, vital funds and awareness are raised to combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges. In 2012, 247,400 Canadian participants raised $42.6 million.

Brian’s family has a history of prostate cancer. He has been going for annual checkups for 16 years.

“My father remembers so many cases of prostate cancer in my family that I knew my time would come,” Brian explains. “I had my first Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test when I was 37 and this May doctors detected cancer. I started treatment in June to good effects.

“Movember is important,” he continues, “one in seven men in Canada will develop prostate cancer; 26,500 new cases will be diagnosed this year, it’s amazing how a bit of hair on my lip can get people talking and help raise awareness.”

BC Cancer Society says: “When prostate cancer is detected and treated early, the chances of successful treatment are better. Recognizing symptoms and getting regular checkups are the best ways to detect prostate cancer early. The sooner symptoms are reported, the sooner a doctor can diagnose and treat the cancer.”

Brian feels strongly about raising awareness.

“Early detection is so important, the survival rate is 95 per cent with prostate cancer when it is detected early. That’s why we are doing this, we want to spread the word and encourage people to talk to their doctors about it soon as possible.”

The Comox Fire Department Movember team says they are motivated “to change the face of men’s health.”

To help them do so please consider making a donation, visit http://ca.movember.com/team/1017057. You can make a donation to the team or to your favourite firefighter.

For more information, about prostate cancer visit www.cancer.ca.

— Comox Fire Department

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