A man in a blue, patterned, button up shirt poses in a barber chair in an LA barbershop
"I feel like even in my lifetime, I can see the stigma being reduced"Image by: Let's Be Friends
A man in a blue, patterned, button up shirt poses in a barber chair in an LA barbershop
16 October 2023

Carver’s story: After 12 years, there’s no quit when it comes to men’s health

4 minutes read time

How it all started with Movember

I got involved with the cause in 2011, shortly after my dad had gotten a prostate cancer diagnosis. Despite us being told it was treatable, and one of the “good” cancers for him to get, it didn’t make it any less scary when someone I loved got that diagnosis.

I’d heard of Movember before, as this fun thing you can do – moustaches are fun – but it was really nice to be able to fundraise when my dad was diagnosed. It felt like I was able to do something a little more active to support him. I’m not a doctor or a scientist, so it’s not like I can get out there and do the actual work of researching cures for prostate cancer, but I was able to raise funds for it. It helped me to feel like an active participant in what he was going through.

Why the funds raised are so important to me

When I first started growing a Mo 12 years ago, the conversations were, “Where’d that moustache come from?” to which I’d respond, “I’m doing it for Movember.” What’s Movember, they would ask. And that’s when I’d go into the fact that we’re raising money, and what we’re raising money for – the programs, the research.

To be quite candid, the better the research, the better the chance that we’ll find breakthroughs and advancements. Not only for my father, but genetics play a factor in prostate cancer, so there is a very real chance that this could be an issue for me, for my brother, for anyone else in our family down the road. So, when I hear about the new programs Movember has funded and awareness campaigns I think, “Yep. Let’s definitely do that. And let’s do more of it.” I would like to see this problem solved, and the fight is not over.

What has kept me coming back to Movember

I always feel grateful to the Mo for being the thing that makes it more possible to talk about men’s cancers and mental health in everyday conversation. That’s the beauty of it!

Yes, Movember is raising funds, supporting ground-breaking research, but we’re also raising much-needed awareness. There is something so powerful and so important about giving men permission to check in on themselves and others, and to seek help, and that’s what Movember is doing by starting these conversations. Mental health can sometimes be invisible, so this is where I hope to continue to have more conversations. I feel like even in my lifetime, I can see the stigma being reduced, it’s being chipped away at. We’re seeing progress here.

Why men’s health matters and my hope for the future state

I’m just coming off of a recent birthday, so this old adage is on my mind. And I’m not sure which of my elder family members said this, maybe it’s a sentiment from all of them, but it’s that idea that you should never let getting older make you feel bad. It’s a privilege that is denied to many. Our health – physical and mental – is so important.

I dream of a future where everyone has equitable access to quality healthcare. It’s easy for me to talk about taking care of your health, and to you know, make sure you get your next checkup in the books, and that you find a therapist that’s the right fit for you, but that’s coming from a place of privilege. Lack of access to this care is a reality for many, especially in this country. And you know what? It makes our mission with Movember a whole lot trickier. If we have the technology and the resources, we shouldn’t let policy get in the way of people living their best, and healthiest life.

But that’s what I love about Movember. There’s no quit. There’s never that dust off the hands feeling of a job well done. There’s a constant awareness of the ongoing battles to be fought and the work to be done. There’s hope that together, we’re growing in the right direction.