We’re speeding towards the end of November, which means that soon my man’s face will be prickle free again (hurrah!). It’s very sweet, actually; he got together a Movember team with my sisters’ boyfriends and various close male friends to represent the Caldecott family, raising money for men’s health awareness, prostate and testicular cancer research, inspired by my dad who has prostate cancer. (I wrote a piece for Verily magazine about it earlier this year.) A worthy cause, although I know one lady who paid her husband double what she was originally going to sponsor him just to shave his lip caterpillar off early. I’ve been tempted to do this myself, as I feel a little bit like this about moustaches:
If I have learnt anything over the past year or so, it is that it’s better to be safe than sorry, and men need to be encouraged to get checked out for cancer just as much as – if not more than – women. (This may be a huge generalisation, but in my experience women tend to be a bit quicker on the uptake about being health aware.) In America, men over a certain age are given yearly prostate cancer checks as a matter of course, but our experience in England was that prostate cancer wasn’t even on the radar for my dad. Instead of being bitter about the doctors’ negligence and short sightedness, it’s a lot healthier to channel that energy into campaigning for awareness and more research, which is where Movember comes in.
Men, if you need any encouragement with your moustaches at this stage – well, you’re almost there, but here’s a message from ‘tache god Ron Swanson to help you along the way:
The brilliant thing is, cancer research really does make a huge difference. Medical research is a world dominated by greedy pharmaceutical companies throwing cash at the things they think they can make money from, and many potential cures can fall by the wayside with the research unfinished because they won’t make anyone rich fast. I used to think that finding a cure for cancer was as far off as the dream of world peace, but thanks to charities and universities circumventing the corruption of the market and backing exciting new research without the motivation of making money, we’re closer to finding ways of curing cancer in all its stages every day. There’s a new treatment in the United States that I’m researching at the moment called Provenge, which takes your own cells, fiddles with them in a lab, and then injects them back into you, whereupon your own cells attack the cancer cells. It all sounds a hell of a lot like it has the potential to be a bad sci-fi/comic book film (Cancer Man, anyone?! I hate to think what his super powers would be…), but who knows, it might just be crazy enough to work. Genius is often sparked by thinking outside of the box, after all. Or so Pinterest tells me.
Here’s to all our brave loved ones who have battled (or are in the process of battling) cancer in all it’s forms. And here’s to our sweet and noble men-folk, looking like hobos for the month of November and raising money for this great cause. If you’d like to donate money to Team Stratford & Son-in-Law (that’s Team Caldecott), you can do so by clicking here. Thanks, and best wishes to you and yours!