Mustaches for Men's Health

March 01, 2011 | Liesl Vistaunet

While the mustache is a fashion statement of the past, this school year at Portland (Ore.) Adventist Academy it made a temporary comeback in honor of a worldwide effort for men's health.

The annual November event, "Movember," is a movement started seven years ago by a group of Australian friends who wanted to bring awareness to men's health. They did this by growing attention-getting facial hair and, in the process, raised funds to research prostate and testicular cancers — cancers that affect one in six men.

Annually the Movember event sees nearly 300,000 people around the world participate. More than 42 million dollars has been raised for the Prostate Cancer Foundation because of the event.

Greg Phillips, PAA's chaplain, who is also a registered nurse and advocate for health, caught the trend years ago and this school year challenged his colleagues and students to participate as well.

"We men are not good at seeing our doctors," says Phillips. "Movember is just a fun way for us to start the conversation about it and to help our students see the importance in taking their health seriously.

Students and faculty members all participated. Throughout the process it gave opportunity to educate students, parents, faculty and the community on men's health. It also served as a reminder to schedule a checkup with their doctors.