September 6th, 2011

Movember helps to raise not only funds, but also awareness for men's health and cancer affecting them. Our Mo Bros and Mo Sistas all support the Mo for a reason, and their stories are hopeful and inspiring. Mo Bro Rich Segal shares his Mo journey story with us.

Mo Bro Spotlight: Rich Segal
My name is Richard Segal and I have been a Mo Bro since 2009. I first heard about Movember through another Mo Bro, Aaron Brost, who hoped to engage media personalities to grow a moustache in support of Movember. As I am a broadcast meteorologist in Austin, Texas for Your News Now, a new division of Time Warner Cable, I considered the idea and thought it was a great and subtle way to spread awareness for a great cause. On-air personalities have to be careful about changing their appearance (contract regulations, audience recognition, etc), so I had to receive approval from my supervisor at work. He granted permission and I was able to change my face for men’s health!

In 2009 and 2010 I grew my Movember moustache and raised money.  This year, while I’ll still be a Mo Bro, my focus has changed slightly, as I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

My efforts will be stepped up through "continuing education" and taking on more of the responsibility to talk to my male friends about the prostate exam and when they should consider getting tested or at least when to speak with their doctor. 

I knew there would be a time when I would be diagnosed with this cancer because my father had it. I knew I had to get tested early and stay on top of my general health.  Although I had prepared myself for this news, and it was caught in the early stages, it still caused a great deal of distraction and I was a little scared, however, I have not allowed it to overtake me. 

I believe that when many people learn that they have cancer, it can immediately send them into a panic and dictate how they live their life. I chose not to let self-pity get the best of me, because I believe the moment one stops living- they begin dying.  Instead, I see my diagnosis as a teaching opportunity.

Since my diagnosis, I’ve had lengthy conversations with friends and family about early detection and the biopsy procedure. I have found that many men don’t realize what the biopsy entails or what the after-effects are, so it’s important to me to explain my own experience. For me, the procedure was relatively quick and painless - there was some blood loss, but nothing major. Most importantly, I want men to know the importance of being tested and knowing their family history.

I knew my chances were higher than others because prostate cancer ran in my family. Knowing this made me more aware of the preventative care and early testing. Sure, it’s not comfortable getting a prostate exam, but not getting it done can be dangerous and life-threatening. To stress the importance of the test and even the biopsy procedure, I have offered to go with friends and hold their hand – anything to make them more comfortable with going through the process.

My friends and family have been incredibly supportive. I’ve been amazed by the support from my loved ones– my aunt has offered to take care of me at home if a surgery is needed requiring a long recovery period, a cousin who is a doctor and another who is a close friend of the head of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia have been so accessible and have provided additional information for me. Also, my supervisor at work is allowing me to share my story with the public this year. I’ll be telling our viewers about my diagnosis while growing my Mo for Movember.

Movember has also impacted my life and given me support. The fact that so many men are willing to do something as simple as donate their face to raise money for this important cause amazes me.  I'm also heartened by the many Mo Sistas who want to help spread the word about the importance of men making sure they're in good health, especially when it comes to the prostate.

My Movember goal is to continue to educate others on the importance of testing and early detection. Also, it would be nice to raise just a single dollar more than last year. Obviously I’d like to raise as much money as I can, but as long as it’s $1 more than my previous total will make me feel great.

My name is Richard Segal and I’ll be a Mo Bro in 2011.