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Movember shaves down cancer chances for Ohio State men

Allison Slonaker / Lantern reporter

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If April showers bring May flowers, no-shave November brings mustaches.
The Ohio State student health organization, Buckeyes for Public Health (Buckyes4PH), had a “shave off” in the RPAC Thursday evening to give some men what could be their last shave for the month of November.
This event was part of the global charity called Movember, which encourages men to grow a mustache throughout the month of November to bring awareness to prostate and testicular cancers as well as other men’s health issues.
“We just want to get the awareness out and remind men to go get a checkup,” said Leesha Bolton, chief of communications for Buckeyes4PH.
Bolton said there is a social stigma that men don’t want to go to the doctor to get a checkup, but Buckyes4PH aimed to eliminate that attitude with this event.
“Men want to believe they are so tough and they aren’t going to get a checkup,” Bolton said.
Movember uses a mustache as a symbol to rally around, similar to how breast cancer awareness uses the pink ribbon.
Thomas Thulesen, an exchange student from Denmark studying business, and Nicholette Chew, an exchange student from Australia, brought the idea for the event to OSU’s College of Public Health with a presentation.
Thulesen said the cause is big in Denmark, and he couldn’t believe it hadn’t caught on to the same level in the United States.
“It’s (mustaches for awareness) actually all over in Denmark, including on buses and planes,” Thulesen said.
Bolton said after members of Buckeyes4PH heard Thulesen’s and Chew’s idea they were really excited and it was something they could make happen.
After only a month of planning, Buckeyes4PH, Thulesen and Chew were able to come up with the idea of a “shave off.”
“This is able to kick off the month of November and everyone is able to start with a clean slate,” Bolton said. “Then throughout the month they are encouraged to compete for the best ‘stache while posting pictures.”
Bolton said in order to track their progress participants are encouraged to post pictures to their Mo Space, which is an online site where each person can spread awareness to others through Movemeber. Participants can also collect donations through this site, which can be made by credit or PayPal.
All donations will go toward The Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Livestrong Foundation.
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer with 241,740 new cases and 28,170 deaths, expected in the United States in 2012. Testicular cancer was estimated to have 8,590 new cases in 2012, and 360 estimated deaths according to the American Cancer Society.
Some men on campus were just as enthusiastic as the group members when it came to getting their clean shave.
Jonathan Jones, a fourth-year in science and technology exploration, said this cause is important to him because he knows people who have been affected by prostate and testicular cancers.
“My father, his brother and a close friend of mine have all been affected, so I’m really happy to do it,” Jones said.
Mark Darden, a fifth-year in consumer and family financial service, said he just happened to be walking through the RPAC when he saw the event going on and decided to participate.
“I think it’s a great cause and it’s important to be the healthiest you can be,” Darden said. “If I can promote that just by shaving, then I will.”
Last year, Movember was able to raise more than $126 million and had more than 854,000 “mo-bros” and “mo-sistas” around the world, according to the Movember website. However, Bolton said that she’s not so worried about the numbers and just wants to bring awareness to men’s health issues.
“As the mustache grows, so does the awareness,” Bolton said.

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