Miss A Columnist

As a 4-year Leukemia survivor, Stacey Mertes is heavily involved in fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the American Diabetes Association. Her 7-year-old son, Logan, is a recently diagnosed Type 1 diabetic, but keeps Stacey on her toes with his own active fundraising endeavors such as the Columbia Tower climb (for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society), WaMu stair climb (for Cystic Fibrosis), and several triathlons and other stair climbs around the city. Originally from a suburb of Chicago, Stacey has lived in many of the local neighborhoods (including spending 11 years next to the Pike Place Market), since graduating from the University of Washington. She finally settled down in the most diverse zip code in the country, Columbia City, where she enjoys walks to the many restaurants, farmers market, and art events nearby. Her favorite hobby of late is finding the most fun “free” things to do around Seattle with her son. She loves movies, plays, visiting the Pacific Science Center and other museums, and finding those geocaching adventures.

Movember: Raising Awareness For Men’s Health

Proud Movember man 2013 (photo credit: Movember Foundation)

Proud Movember man 2013 (photo credit: Movember Foundation)

I mustache you a question: Have you noticed that in November last year, things started to get hairy? Literally. Amongst the men, that is. Movember Foundation is the global men’s health charity where men grow and women support the moustache during the month of November. Movember is about bringing back the moustache (Mo), having fun, creating conversations and awareness, and raising funds for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems. In the Seattle area last year, 7,640 participants raised $553,996. Globally, more than four million participants have raised over $550 million to date, funding over 832 men’s health programs in 21 countries. Some of the statistics are somewhat surprising. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death for men in the United States and currently affects more than two million American men. One in six men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and one in every two men will get a cancer in their lifetime. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males between the ages of 15 and 35.

Three doctors growing mustaches for men's health (photo credit: Movember Foundation website)

Three doctors growing mustaches for men’s health (photo credit: Movember Foundation website)

Movember participation begins once you sign up and become part of the official movement to change the face of men’s health. Did you know that men on average live 5 years less than their female counterpart (insert joke here like “they’re not dead, they are just hiding from their wives”)? There are many ways to participate and it doesn’t just mean you grow a mustache and suddenly everyone’s health improves. Nope, this is a fun fundraising event grown around the world. How does it work?

First you sign up on the Movember website, either as a Mo bro or a Mo Sista. Once you sign up, you can recruit others to join your team, or raise funds individually. Create fun fundraising events amongst your friends, have parties like Shave the Date party for the end of the month, but get the word out about why your face suddenly looks like you’re eating a squirrel and raise some money to help men live longer and stay healthier. For other ideas, go to the Movember Events page. The mustache is bound to strike up conversations. Sixty-two percent of Movember participants went to see a medical professional to improve their health so get talking and save lives. There are official rules though, one of which you must start clean shaven on November 1st.  For complete set of rules, go to the Rules page. Go to the Movember website to learn more about the diseases that affect men, the symptoms, the treatments, and the prevention.

Throughout the month of Movember, actively update your Movember page with pictures, videos and status updates of your progress to supplement your fund raising outreach.

On your mark, get set, GROW!

WHEN: November 1, 2014 – November 30, 2014

WHERE: Your face, if you’re a man. If you are a woman, support the men in your life.

REGISTER: To register for Movember, go to the Movember website. If you don’t want to register, you can donate directly to the charity, to a team or to an individual.

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