A number of Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center employees have pledged to grow mustaches through November to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer.
“Movember,” a movement that started in Australia in 2003 (“mo” is an Australian slang term for mustache), encourages men to grow a mustache for the entire 30 days of November.
Dr. Ted Rogers, an orthopaedic surgeon at TLRMC, said he learned about Movember toward the end of October and contacted the hospital’s department heads about participating in the event.
In the following weeks, 17 TLRMC employees agreed to grow mustaches to help spread awareness of prostate and testicular cancer - two of the most common cancers among men, Rogers said.
While many men are hesitant to visit their doctor in regards to these conditions, one in three men are estimated to contract one of these cancers, Rogers said.
To diagnose and treat these conditions early on, all men in their 40’s and 50’s are recommended to visit their doctor for their annual exams, Rogers said.
Dr. Chris Fuller, of TLRMC’s physical therapy department, has also grown a mustache for Movember and said he has invited individuals from outside the hospital to participate, as well.
Fuller said teachers from Grayson County High School and members of his church, Fairview Baptist, are participating in the event.
Movember is estimated to spark 11.9 billion conversations about testicular and prostate cancer awareness, Fuller said.
“As soon as you have the different facial hair, it sparks conversations,” he said.
In 2014, TLRMC is planning to start promoting Movember in August to help further spread awareness, by including other local employers and organizations in the event, said Fuller.
“Next year, we’re hoping to get a competition going among other associations,” he said.
Since it was established ten years ago, Movember has, globally, raised $446 million for cancer awareness, according to the official event website, us.movember.com.
Carrying on the theme of Movember, the 17 hospital employees participating in the event will serve chili at the TLRMC November Chili Lunch on Tuesday, Nov. 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the hospital cafeteria.
All proceeds raised from the chili lunch will benefit the Grayson County Alliance and Food Pantry.
In addition, on Tuesday, Nov. 26, the 17 men will gather for final pictures and to determine who grew the best mustache, Fuller said.
Other hospital employees participating in Movember include Bill Oldham, Bradley Decker, Carl Filip, Clay Vincent, APRN, Derek Dennison, Dr. Brett Abney, Dr. Joe Lee, Dr. John Evans, Dr. Robert Knox, Dr. Robert McClure, Dr. Ryan Duvall, Dr. Tony Lee, James Wood, and Robbie Lindsey.