October 4th, 2012

Mo Sista Esme Williams began participating in Movember in honor of her father, a prostate cancer survivor. Esme shares her journey as a Mo Sista and how Movember has helped her and her father communicate about important health issues.

Transfer of Knowledge: A Mo Sista Inspires her Dad
Daughters have the ability to bring out the sensitive side of their fathers and when they suggest getting an annual physical, it is often taken to heart by their dads. Women play a key role in encouraging the men in their life to take care of their health, and are therefore an important part of spreading the Movember men’s health messaging.
Mo Sista Esme Williams began participating in Movember in honor of her father, a prostate cancer survivor. When Mr. Williams found out about his daughter’s Mo support, he was touched by her kindness. We spoke with Esme to learn more about her journey as a Mo Sista and how Movember helped her and her father communicate more openly about important health issues.

What attracted you to join the Movember movement?
My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer several years ago. When I found out about Movember it seemed like a natural fit for me to get involved.
There are so many organizations dedicated to women’s health issues, but so few that are focused on men’s health. Men have a really difficult time discussing their own health issues, so I love the fact that Movember is breaking down those barriers to make them more comfortable talking about important issues concerning their own health.
What did you enjoy most about participating in Movember?
I enjoyed the camaraderie, doing something fun and making a difference. Although I was unable to grow a real Mo, I took my duties as a Mo Sista extremely seriously. Everywhere I went I promoted Movember and men’s health. I sent out photos of myself posing with my Mo on a regular basis, which I think helped to keep my supporters engaged and increased the amount of funds I was able to raise. I also enjoyed posting various pictures of me on Facebook wearing a different moustache each time.  I think that it made the campaign fun for people.
What was the most memorable discussion you had about Movember?
While my dad went through treatment for cancer a few years ago, we never actually addressed his health – it was always this big awkward elephant in the room. Last Movember a friend of mine forwarded him my Mo Sista photos that I had posted online and explained to him that I was raising money for prostate cancer research. That same day, my dad called me and told me he was proud of me. He thanked me for what I was doing - it was an incredible feeling. My involvement with Movember made it easier for him to talk about his health issues with others, he told me he was going to call his brother and ask him to go get checked and also explain the importance of getting annual checkups and catching serious health issues early.
How is your father’s health today? 
I am proud to report that my dad is cancer free and devoted to living a more healthy life.  Now, he goes to the doctor on a regular basis and coaches other men to not ignore health concerns.  My dad is a barber so he doesn’t hesitate at the opportunity to lecture someone sitting in his chair.  We don’t call him “The Mayor” for nothing.  Being a cancer survivor has given him a platform he can really identify with and stand behind.  
What was one of your favorite Movember events last year?
This is the first fundraiser that I participated in where I felt a genuine sense of community involvement.  I used to work at Deep Pocket Jeans Company in Hermosa Beach, CA and we hosted a moustache shaving party at the end of the month. Dozens of men showed their support by stopping by and shaving off the moustaches they had grown during the month.  Each time a guy shaved his Mo we donated $10 to Movember. 
What are you looking forward to about Movember this year?
I’m looking forward to raising even more than I did last year and to get more Mo Sistas involved in the action!