“Something just didn’t feel right.” Adam Shaw, at 30-years-old, was physically fit, healthy, and had no prior medical conditions. His doctors assured him that he was fine and there was no concern. A quiet moment settled in, then a preponderance of doubt – “something just didn’t feel right.”
Adam was diagnosed with testicular cancer after insisting on an ultrasound. Adam’s day began with a routine checkup, but he ended on an operating table. That was in 2013. “He who hesitates is lost;” is Adam’s favorite quote, of. and a mantra he lives by today. It is one he will continue to live by alongside his wife and soon to be 2-year-old daughter.
Stories like Adam’s are sobering reminders of one simple fact: men’s health is in a state of crisis. In the United States, testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men. 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
On average, men die 5 years earlier than women. 3 out of 4 suicides are men in the United States. What is our most formidable adversary? Silence. Far too often men do not talk about their health.
Too seldom are concerns brought to doctors by their male patients during check-ups. Too infrequent do men open up to their friends about their problems and vulnerabilities. Too often do men backslide into fleeting ambitions of tired clichés.
Tough it out. Boys don’t cry. Man up.
What can be done? Where do we begin? The answer: conversation, awareness, Movember.
The Movember Foundation is the leading global charity dedicated to changing the face of men’s health in the United States and around the world. Our fathers, sons, brothers, partners, and friends are braving a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. We want men to take action to live happier, healthier, longer lives.
Though we are best known for our annual Movember fundraising campaign that takes place every November, we operate and receive donations year-round. Since 2003, more than 5 million men and women have joined the men’s health movement, raising 837 million USD and funding over 1,200 programs in twenty countries focused on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
Among these programs are leading initiatives primed to revolutionize the global approach to men’s health not only in treatment, but in prevention and early intervention. When a man survives testicular cancer, prostate cancer, or has a relationship breakdown —what happens next? Where can he turn to when he struggles with impotence?
What should he do to stop his life spiraling out of control? These are often overlooked areas and many Movember programs are designed specifically to address these critical life challenges with innovation and verve.
With that in mind, the Movember Foundation is making bold moves with our 50 Million Men campaign. Yes, you read that right. Yes, it’s bold.
Set to debut early next year, the 50 Million Men campaign aims to improve the health of 50 million American men over the next 5 years. It will feature an unprecedented set of digital resources that will prioritize prevention, early intervention and the empowerment of men in prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.
Cost-free, they will include online training programs, health trackers and focused on empowering men to take action for their health, make better decisions, and manage their own personal life changes.
The 50 Million Men initiative is first of its kind. Movember is committed to impacting as many lives as we possibly can. We are proud to launch this campaign not only because it will lead to healthier men across the U.S., but more so because it will play a critical role in contributing to healthier families and communities.
2019 is the year the Movember’s 50 Million Men initiative will begin. What can you do now? How can you help change a man’s life today, right here and now? Start with a conversation and reach out to a friend in need.
Go to Movember.com and commit to changing the face of men’s health by GROWING a mustache to raise awareness; MOVING by walking or running 60 miles for the 60 men we lose each hour, every hour, to suicide; and HOSTING a Mo-ment with your friends, family, and colleagues to support your efforts with donations and awareness.
“He who hesitates is lost;” Adam Shaw’s mantra, and an encapsulation of a powerful story of courage, strength, and spirit. Adam took action. He did something about his health. He spoke up. Adam’s day began with a routine checkup at his doctor’s office, it ended in an operating room for oncological surgery, but there’s so much more to be had after that.
Adam is on the path to being one of the 50 Million Men. You can be on the path to being one of the 50 Million Men. The men in your life can all be on the path to being a part of the 50 Million Men. And in 2019, they all will be. Movember, after all, is coming.
Paul Villanti is the Executive Director, Programs at Movember Foundation. He has overseen the development of 1200 national and global projects in 23 countries across prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. He has a particular interest in accelerating research breakthroughs to see real world health improvements of men globally.