When you think of November, you probably think of fall leaves and Thanksgiving. However, there’s one more thing you need to add to the list – men’s facial hair.
That’s right – some people have re-termed this month “Movember” in hopes of getting men across the world to grow out their mustaches all in the name of promoting men’s health. From testicular to prostate cancer awareness and suicide prevention, Movember has reached more than 6,886,128 people since its start in 2003 – including our team members at Bon Secours St. Francis Therapy Center Five Forks.
“My motivation is to use the power of the mustache to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health,” Brian Draddy (pictured above, right) says. He is one of two physical therapists taking part in the campaign.
Brian along with his coworker, Andrew Sires (pictured above, left), are looking a little hairier these days, as they ditch their razors this month in favor of supporting a good cause.
“It’s a fun way for us to bring awareness to the major health issues men face today,” Andrew explains. “I first participated about 10 years ago along with some coworkers, in memory of my father who died of a heart attack in 2009. He wore a mustache my entire life, so it was a nice way to remember him and raise money and awareness for men’s health.”
However, this year things got even more personal when Andrew’s good friend, Ryne Turner (pictured above, middle), was diagnosed with testicular cancer a few years ago. Movember became a way to rally around Ryne, a 32-year-old father of two.
“It was an extremely difficult time for myself and my family, especially considering that I thought I genuinely took pretty good care of myself,” Ryne explains. “I ate healthy, exercised regularly and didn’t have any history of cancer in my family. The next few weeks, months and years were filled with surgeries, appointments, tests, scans and more scans. Due to various reasons, I also dealt with depression and anxiety during this time period, which I also had to seek help with, which was hard for me to fully grasp.”
Boosted by his good friends and their support, Ryne decided to participate in Movember for the first time just a few months after his initial diagnosis in 2019. Now, Ryne is doing great health wise, and wants to continue raising awareness to help others.
“We all have men in our lives that, at some point, will deal with some type of health crisis,” he adds. “It’s a great avenue for men to openly discuss their health. So many men, myself included, don’t like to talk about their problems in general, let alone health problems. We have to break that stigma to keep people alive.”
But raising awareness isn’t the only reason these men are spending November growing out their mustaches. They are also looking to set an example for their children.
For Andrew specifically, he lost his father at the age of 24. So, each day of Movember, he is doing 24 pushups to show his children he is putting forth his best effort in staying healthy to see them continue to grow.
As for Ryne, his children are what push him to speak out on men’s health. As a father of three kids, two pre-cancer and one post-cancer, he believes that no child should have to bury their father for something that could have been prevented.
This holiday season, we are celebrating by spreading the good news! Read more feel-good stories, like this one, that feature our team members, patients and the wonderful communities we are blessed to serve.
Also, learn about the physical therapy and rehabilitation services we offer at Bon Secours.