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Alberta South raises funds and awareness for Movember

December 17, 2018

Men should no longer be afraid to talk about their health

Handlebar, Fu Manchu, the Dali. These are just three styles men can choose from when growing their moustaches out for Movember. Since 2004, men have been sporting moustaches in November to build awareness and help change the face of men’s health. This past November, Stantec Canada raised $13,045 through fundraising initiatives.

Nine of the 21 members that made up the Canada team were from the Alberta South region. Peter Sharma, sustainability analyst in the Alberta South region, has been part of the Movember initiative for the past four years and has raised just over $700 since he started. “My involvement with Movember started out with my previous employment as a social tool for me,” Peter said. “From there, it grew. I had to educate myself in order to educate others about what the issues are. Then I started realizing this cause was big. I hadn’t realized there were so many things impacting men’s health. The motivation started coming and I knew I had to fight.”

Like so many others, Peter has lost family and friends who were battling with prostate cancer. “You feel it when something like this happens to someone close to you, and it helps motivate you to spread the awareness,” Peter says.

Kevin Cunningham, instrumentation technologist out of the Calgary Quarry Park office, has been participating in Movember for 10 years. This year, he helped raise just under $300 for the Stantec Canada team and has raised just over $5,200 since 2009. “One of my uncles and both of my grandfathers’ brothers survived prostate cancer due to an early diagnosis,” Kevin said. “My uncle caught it early through regular screenings.”

An early diagnosis can help save lives

If men could get diagnosed early, it could help save their lives. For too long, there was a lot of stigma around the testing. Men were, and still can be, too embarrassed to visit the doctor. “It’s not an embarrassing thing, it’s an important thing, which is why it’s important to get the information out there to get checked,” Kevin says.

“Men are taught by society to be tough and suck up the pain, but this mentality needs to change. Go to the doctor; don’t ignore it,” says Peter. “I really take pride in campaigning for Movember and promoting these issues, so men feel it’s okay to go to the doctor.” It takes one person to spread the awareness to their team in hopes that they then spread the word to their coworkers and beyond.

Along with cancer awareness, Movember tackles men’s mental health issues

“According to Movember, by 2030 they will halve the number of men dying from prostrate cancer. With all the positive impacts we have on men’s health through Movember, my motivation keeps increasing every year,” says Peter. “There are a lot of issues men face post-diagnosis and post-treatment. There’s a mental component they have to go through, and the Movember community helps fund programs and research that help people mentally and physically.”

Movember is there to help from start to finish—they know there’s an uphill battle men face before, during, and after treatment. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Movember has funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world.

The ManVan, a mobile health clinic created by the Prostate Canada Centre, set up shop at the 25th Street and Quarry Park offices in Calgary this past Movember. The ManVan is Canada’s first and only mobile health clinic that offers free PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood testing for men aged 40–80 throughout Calgary and rural southern Alberta. Just a 10-minute visit in the ManVan can help save a life.

Between the two offices, over 60 men stepped up to the ManVan to get checked out.

Movember is a month to remind ourselves, and everyone around us, the importance of being proactive for our health and acting early when health issues arise.

Around the globe, Stantec employees created teams to help spread awareness and raise money for Movember. Teams in the US raised $3,460 while Australia and New Zealand raised a combined $4,315.

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