During November each year, MovemberMovember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men's faces in the U.S. and around the world. With their Mo's these men are helping to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. Movember got its start in Melbourne, Australia in 2003.
"A few of the founders were out riding skateboards, having a beer or two, talking about '80's fashion and how the moustache never really came back in vogue. They left that day with a challenge issued. They got about 30 people to do it that year to basically grow a moustache for 30 days," says J.J. Owen who is the Head of Grassroots Engagement for Movember USA.
In 2008 a colleague of J.J.'s mentioned something to him about moustaches and Movember and a short time later he got some friends together and decided to take action.
"My roommate's mom at the time had cancer so we wanted to do something cancer related and we were both facially gifted as far as moustache growth so we were just like 'Let's do this'," says J.J..
Since it's inception Movember has raised over 300 million dollars and has grown to become a global movement inspiring more than 1.9 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to participate with formal campaigns all around the world. You may be asking how it is exactly that a moustache is supposed to spark conversation and spread awareness of men's health issues. Well, the theory behind the 'stache is that people will see someone sporting this manly mane and ask them about it which will hopefully then lead to a conversation about the cause. And, that conversation is sometimes very difficult to have.
"It's more important for that guy who's rockin' a moustache who's 20 something, 30 something, to have the talk with their dad or their uncle about men's health because those guys are the ones that are getting checked for prostate cancer at that moment and that's the conversation that's typically not happening. I've had Mo Bros tell me that their dad's feel like they're protecting them by not telling them," says J.J..
Prostate and testicular cancer were not top of mind for Lee Martineau until it hit home.
"My grandfather had been diagnosed with prostate cancer 12 years ago and when he was, my uncle and father got checked out because when it's in the genes you want to get examined. My uncle had it at the same time so they were both fighting it and treating it and my father did not and then 8 years later he was getting his annual check-up and then his PSA count was high and went in and he, too, had prostate cancer."
This Movember I will be joining the ranks of the moustachioed man. Yes, I've been blessed with the 'I can grow a massive beard and if I don't trim it on a regular basis I totally look like a hobo', gene. And, yes, I'm pretty sure that growing a moustache will make me look like a freak. That's why my plan was to grow that hobo beard and then trim it into a 'stache but I out found out that the rules of Movember are actually pretty strict.
"You grow just a moustache for 30 days. No beards and no goatees because nobody's gonna give you a high five for that. If it connects to the sideburns that's a beard and if it connects under your chin that's a goatee and those are disqualified," says J.J..
So get out there men, and, maybe even some women and grow your Mo big and grow your Mo proud, knowing that you will be one of many Mo Bros and Mo Sistas that will be helping to change the face of men's health.
The post-football season blues: What will you do on Sundays?
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Best Seahawks song: winner announced
January 30, 2015 5:56 pmAnd the winner is: Green and Blue by Justin Reis. Justin has submitted what the 12th Man believes is the best Seahawks song. Congratulations Justin!
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Josh Kerns | January 27, 2015 6:29 amWhen Gee Scott got the call asking him to cover the Super Bowl this week, the co-host of The Barbershop on 710 ESPN Seattle broke into tears. After all, he'd be going from washing cars for the Seahawks to interviewing them on the biggest stage in sports.
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Rachel Belle | January 22, 2015 3:52 pmMore than half of Seattle area women now say they are Seahawk fans, but not all of them are satisfied wearing baggy jerseys and baseball caps. At Seattle's Hourglass Footwear, they hand paint 12th Woman shoes, for lady Seahawks fans who love sports, but crave style.
Everyone, even Richard Sherman, snickering over Deflate-gate
Stephanie Klein | January 21, 2015 3:44 pmWhile so-called Deflate-gate might be a serious issue for NFL investigators, there's plenty of fun to be had at its expense.
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Space Needle 12th Man flag battered but not beaten
Josh Kerns | January 21, 2015 5:50 amMuch like the Seahawks, the 12th Man flag that flew over the Space Needle the past several weeks was torn and tattered, but withstood a fierce challenge.
Old Dog Haven finds new homes for old dogs
Rachel Belle | January 20, 2015 2:44 pmIf a 12 year old dog with cancer winds up at an animal shelter, chances are that dog will be put down. Unless the shelter contacts western Washington's Old Dog Haven, a non-profit that places elderly dogs in loving homes and pays all of the medical bills, to the tune of $40,000 a month.
A Packers fan sends heartfelt thank you to Seattle
Josh Kerns | January 19, 2015 6:55 pmAmid all the emotional stories to come out of Sunday's NFC Championship, a little gem emerged on Craigslist in the form of this anonymous thank you from a Green Bay fan to Seattle
Meet the sisters from Sumner who are obsessed with New Kids on the Block
Rachel Belle | January 19, 2015 5:37 pmSumner sisters Telley Driskell and Sarah Dutcher are obsessed with New Kids on the Block. Telley even has a New Kids room completely dedicated to all of her paraphernalia. Their experience on a sold-out New Kids cruise has been documented on a new reality show called "Rock the Boat."
What's that noise?! Seattle Foley artists bring life to movies and video games
Rachel Belle | January 18, 2015 8:06 amSeattle Foley artist, Jamie Hunsdale, and sound designer Brendan Hogan live in a world of audio. They add everything from footsteps to avalanches to films and video games, creating all of the sounds themselves. Here they share some trade secrets. That sound of a fox walking on snow? That's actually a paperclip on a frozen pizza.
Don't wait until you're dead to hear all the nice things people have to say about you
Jamie Skorheim | January 17, 2015 6:54 amPeople have the nicest things to say about when you die, but the deceased miss out on the kind messages. But a new startup called Tribute Co. is offering the opportunity for people to voice these feelings of love and admiration before we go.
A local Packers fan scored free tickets to Sunday's NFC Championship because he's a veteran
Rachel Belle | January 16, 2015 5:47 pmA Port Orchard man, who runs the nonprofit Fishing With Veterans, bought two tickets to the Seahawks vs Packers game, with the intention of giving them to a deserving soldier or veteran. But the vet we connected him with turned out to be a Packers fan!
Free Lolita! After 45 years in captivity, acitivists want a Salish Sea orca returned to her home waters
Rachel Belle | January 16, 2015 2:36 pmThis Saturday there will be rallies around the world in support of Lolita, the Orca whale from the Salish Sea, who has been in captivity at a Miami water park for the past 45 years. Ralliers want Lolita returned to her home waters, and they're meeting at Seattle's Alki Beach on Saturday to get their message heard.