Local Movember campaign highlights men's health awareness

By Dylana Milobar
November 9, 2018 - 4:56pm Updated: November 9, 2018 - 5:27pm

KAMLOOPS — Since the first Movember event 15 years ago, men all over the world have grown out their facial hair to raise money and awareness around men's health issues.

At the Continental Barbershop in Kamloops, participants are going the extra mile with their hair styling to show their support. 

Stylists are getting creative with haircuts this month, as Movember supporters like Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association Executive Director, Carl De Santis change their look and fundraise for men's health programs. 

"I think the profile is on men's health issues, and I would really encourage everybody just to take some time and do everything they can to give cancer the finger."

The event began back in 2003, and local organizers from Sun Life Financial say the worldwide momentum for Movember has kept a steady pace since then.

Steve Passmore says the cause is fairly simple.

"Basically what we're trying to do is raise awareness," Passmore explains. "And the money is going to help cancer survivors here in town, and help them to make sure they not only recover, but they can up their health and awareness so it doesn't reoccur."

Throughout the month of November, money will be raised, and moustaches will be grown to bring funds and awareness for local men's health programs. 

Sun Life Organizer Derek Strokon says for such a dominating illness, tackling cancer prevention is no small feat. 

"How do we band together and create support? And that's why we're really excited that all the money we're raising this year is staying in Kamloops."

Participating in the statement hair cuts, and helping gather funds is Riley Windeler, who says he felt inspired to help out the effort.

"I've been fortunate enough to not have it effect myself yet in life, but you never know when things could change so we want to spread that awareness, spread the cause."

Along with the fun of growing less than conventional facial hair, the cause brings light to the serious nature of prostate cancer, and men's mental health. 

Dr. Lee Jonat, a Urologist at Royal Inland Hospital treats those suffering from prostate cancer, and says they keep an eye out for the disease in men after the age of 50. 

"What I tell patients is just take care of your heart, and the prostate kind of comes along for the ride in the same sort of way."

Dr. Jonat says men simply paying attention to their health and making small changes each day can make a huge difference in catching cancer early or preventing it. 

"Whether that be going to your family doctor on a more regular basis, whether it be making small steps that sort of incrementally add up to a big change in your lifestyle, its just doing something," he explains. "It doesn't have to be much, just something, and then add to that over time."

The fundraising continues all throughout the month of November, with a wrap up event for fundraisers and organizers, hosted by Shark Club on Nov. 29.

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