Mo’ for Movember!

12 11 2007

During Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) season, one of the guys who wrote a little here was Brad Parker, under the pseudonym ‘BigRedMan’. Brad’s a sports-maniac dwelling in Rockhampton, Central Queensland – in Australia.
Recently, Brad’s been a busy boy…

Don (With Malice…): Hi Brad. So… I hear you’re growing a moustache – what’s that about?
What we all wish Brad would grow…Brad: It’s for an annual charity event called ‘Movember’, obviously held throughout November in several different countries. Basically you start the month clean shaven and grow a moustache for 30 days. I didn’t actually register until the 6th of November so I’ve only got 24 days of growing to get it right.
Obviously growing a moustache on its own doesn’t do much for any charity. Consequently, participants try to seek out sponsorship for their moustache.

Don: How many other people are involved in this mo-grow-show?
Brad: Not sure of the exact numbers Don, but I am quite sure it would be thousands here in Australia where all money raised through mo sponsorship goes to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and also to a charity dealing with depression and other mental illnesses, Beyond Blue.
The other main countries with organised Movember events are USA, Canada, New Zealand, Spain and the UK. All money raised in these countries goes to their national prostate cancer foundations.

Don: What got you involved in those charities?
Brad: Personal experiences. Someone close to me had a recent scare with prostate cancer. In Australia each year 2,900 men die from it. That’s the same as the number of women that die each year here from breast cancer. Unfortunately, being men and being related to our “down stairs” area, we often have a certain unwillingness to discuss it.
Not only does the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia spend money on prostate cancer research, they also provide support and advocacy to men suffering prostate cancer, and their families.
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

As for Beyond Blue, again it is personal experience. I am only thirty years old Don, and I have been to the funerals of five people since I left high school who have taken their own lives. I have also stared into the eyes of a loved only minutes after a serious attempt on their own life and seen the void that depression can create. It isn’t pretty, quite scary actually. Beyond Blue is really tackling these issues head on by trying to increase community awareness and reduce stigmatisation, promotes community wide responses for those with depressive illnesses and their carers and promotes research into these illnesses.
Beyond Blue

Don: 2,900? That’s pretty scary stuff. I’d never realised that prostate cancer was that big a killer. Would it be fair to say that general awareness of it is just that – most folks don’t just don’t realise how big it really is?
Brad: Probably not so much awareness being a problem, though I too was shocked at the actual number, more the willingness to discuss it even with your GP. Most men are aware Cricket classic mo’ - courtesy of David Boonof the existence of prostate cancer but are either unaware of, or choose to ignore the signs of, its presence in themselves. Much like breast cancer, early detection is the best way to fight it. Unfortunately most men will ignore the symptoms of prostate cancer until it is too late.

Don: On depression – living in Japan, suicide is still a pretty big problem here. It’s a growing issue in Australia?
Brad: Certainly is Don, especially among rural communities where many farmers are being effected by the worst drought many have ever seen. Youth suicide is also on the rise, again, especially in rural communities. That’s not to say it is only a problem outside major cities though.
The main thing is to be aware of the signs of depression not only in yourself but others and NEVER be afraid to talk about it with someone.

Don: I guess that’s the major hurdle, especially within popular notions of ‘the Australian male’ – being a ‘bloke’ and the expectations associated with that – wouldn’t you agree?
Brad: Absolutely. As males, especially Australian males, we are expected to just tough things out. Unfortunately depression isn’t something you can just tough out and it will go away. It takes a hell of alot of work to get right again, and for some people it is something they are never completely free of. That’s why, not just in Australian society, Merv has a pretty good mo’…but in society as a whole, men need to realise that seeking help is not a sign of weakness.
To acknowledge you have a problem and to talk about it it requires far more strength than playing the old “ignorance is bliss” card.

Don: So, how’s the mo’ coming along?
Brad: Quite nicely. I actually started growing mine later than most people. I have got an album up on the net where I am trying to post a picture every day to let people track its progress… Brad’s Mo’ Progress!

Don: If people wanted to become involved, what should they do?
Brad: It’s easier than shelling peas. You can either register your mo and go out seeking sponsorship from people and companies, or you can sponsor someone’s mo online. Simply go to www.movember.com and follow the links to one of the participating countries or hit the link that says “Sponsor a Mo”. Then enter the registration ID of the mo you wish to sponsor.
Mine is 157091.
Another idea is to get a group of friends and register as a team.

Don: What’s the reaction been like from your friends? On both being involved in a charity event such as this… and the … ummm… ‘success’ you’ve had growing a mo’?
Brad: All positive though of course there has been some friendly ribbing. They are all right behind me.
The ball and chain, the trouble and strife, Adam’s second best friend can’t wait until it stops being so prickly.I’m really hoping Brad goes for the Rollie Fingers look…

Don: Thanks Brad for your time, both of these issues are something that the wider community could do with greater awareness of – do you have anything you’d like to like to say in finishing?
Brad: Not too much more. Just if you think you are suffering from either of these conditions, or think someone you know might be SAY SOMETHING TO SOMEONE. It is in everyone’s best interests.

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11 responses

12 11 2007
sulz

interesting concept for charity! i’ve read some about depression, so i hope i can recognise symptoms should my loved ones suffer from it. that said, i think showing lots of love and support to a person is very important.

well, all the best to brad and his moustache-growing attempt! i think handlebar ones are hilarious. 😛

12 11 2007
KO

Good work big fella.

Dye your hair a “normal” colour, and you just may be accepted into the human population.

12 11 2007
loki

Well done guys. Brad – go for it dude, better you than me mate, itd take me several movembers to get any real mo action goin’. Im actually sponsoring my brother this year, the mo’s been in place for 25 years and came off Nov 1 in support of a mate that lost his fight with prostate cancer last year. Great to see people spreading the word on-line.
Don, well done for highlighting the importance of this event and well done to both of you on the interview. Keep it up and hopefully more will listen, never under value or estimate the power of the written word.
This place just keeps producing the goods don, goin’ great. Well done all round.
Cheers.

12 11 2007
loki

It just hit me – that top picture. Sort of a new millenium Snidley Whiplash – you know, the nefarious no goodnick from Whacky Races or was it from Dudley Doright?
Anyway…..

12 11 2007
KO

A lion crossed with a porn star?

Seriously though, well done Brad on bringing this serious problem into the spotlight.

12 11 2007
withmalice

Whacky Races Loki…

Thanks for the comments too guys, Brad’s doing a great job – the charities he’s working for are not only very important issues for men, but for their families & friends.

12 11 2007
Liston

I tried to grow a mustache once but the only part that would grow was right at the corners of my mouth. I looked like a catfish.

Liston

13 11 2007
timethief

Go Brad grow! 🙂

13 11 2007
Kingerikcantona

Good Luck with the Mo’ growing Brad and good on you for supporting a great charity!!

Excellant interview guys, if prostate cancer and depression ain’t enough to get people to support it then this interview should help 🙂

I sponser my bro- in law who does a good job with the mo, strangely it is easier for him to grow hair on his upper lip then it is to grow hair on his head go figure!

Rob

13 11 2007
Big Al

Ha Ha Ha.. Looks like he is auditioning for the Village Peoples Revival Tour,,,,or been muff diving after eating a honey sandwich….

14 11 2007
withmalice

lol Al…

Just take this opportunity to remind folks that you can still sponsor Brad… even $2 is gonna help!

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