October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month has come to an end. Most of the breast cancer awareness products are off the shelf. The clothes are put on the clearance racks at the stores. Many businesses offer awareness to other causes or start gearing up for the holidays. In my husband’s business he participates in the No Shave November phenomenon.
This movement can be traced back to 2003 by a group of Australian men. These thirty men organized a month long event to raise awareness for prostate cancer and depression in men. The rules were simple: during the month, grow a mustache that did not attach to a beard or sideburns. Keeping it neat and well-groomed was a bonus. Since the creation of the Movember Foundation, 832 men’s health projects have been funded by 21 different nations.
Numerous organizations have followed suit in the No Shave November month – each creating awareness for all cancers (including breast cancer) or other causes. Many men and women alike will toss their shaving products to the side and opt to grow their hair in hopes to encourage conversations. My husband, being one of them, has shown his support to bring awareness to men’s health issues on his business Facebook page. Every day during the months of October and November he would post a factoid about women’s and men’s cancer issues, health issues, or information on preventative care.
I like to see these movements, whether big or small, because they bring awareness to what is needed: their cause. They might be able to raise funds to help support or fight cancer. They might persuade someone to go to the doctor for a check-up. These movements might actually save a life. I realize bringing awareness to a cause is just that, awareness; however, when we look at the greater picture, it does a lot more than we think.
Like my husband, I am a walking billboard for cancer fundraising, awareness, education, and prevention. I have made it my life’s mission to be open and honest about my cancer, my losses and gains, all my ups and downs, and everything in between. I don’t see a future where I take down my billboard. It’ll still be up when I’m 85 years old, teaching my great-grandkids what they need to know about cancer.
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