BG firefighters grow mustaches for cancer awareness
Buffalo Grove Monday, 11/5/12 Lt. Andy Russell is one of the Buffalo Grove firefighters that are participating in the "Movember," initiative to raise awareness for prostrate and testicular cancer. The men will not shave for the entire month of November, and will be raising money to support research for men's health issues. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 6, 2012 5:44PM
BUFFALO GROVE — Here is what is known about prostate cancer: more than two new cases will be diagnosed in the time it takes to read this article.
But the question remains, how long will the whiskers of Buffalo Grove firefighters’ mustaches grow during a monthlong campaign to bring awareness to prostate cancer?
Several members of the Buffalo Grove Fire Department have committed their facial hair to the cause, which has been dubbed “Movember.” The grassroots campaign calls for men to grow “mos” (mustaches) during November, to get other guys thinking about one of the diseases they want to think about least.
“One of the biggest obstacles men tackle, in regards to general well-being, is a reluctance to discuss health issues they face either with their partner, family or doctor,” Fire Chief Terry Vavra said. “Movember was born from recognition that a fun and engaging activity could help encourage men to become more actively involved in their own health.”
The idea is Australian, beginning there in 2003 with just two guys who wanted to bring the mustache back into fashion. They chose prostate cancer as the reason for trying to resurrect the look, and the concept has spread.
Movember came to the U.S. in 2007, beginning more as a five o’clock shadow than a real fashion statement as 2,127 participants raised about $740,000.
In 2012, though, there will be Movember campaigns in at least 21 nations. Last year, 145,000 Americans took part, raising more than $15 million for prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.
According to prostate cancer statistics, another man will die from the disease every 18.6 minutes.