Pharmasave owner leads a Mo'vement for cancer research

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
November 20th, 2012

Graeme Carlson is growing a moustache. Not a significant feat on its own, although it has been at least 15 years since he sported one, but it’s the meaning behind it that counts. You see, Carlson’s mo’ is raising money and awareness for men’s health.

But Carlson isn’t the only one sporting some new facial hair, nope, he wasn’t going to go through this all alone. He encouraged 15 other men to join his efforts and they’re all out there, scratching their faces and trying to get through all the jokes everyone is sending their way as the moustaches take root.

“I thought it would be fun to do this for awareness and also to raise money for the cause,” said Carlson. “The guys that joined were really into it. There was no humming or hawing, they all got into it. Some people I asked weren’t into raising money or growing a moustache.”

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in Canada and around the world. With their “Mo’s”, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and male mental health initiatives, according to the Movember campaign information.

On Movember 1st, guys register at Movember.com with a clean-shaven face. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery.

“Pierre Peron actually had a full moustache, goatee – a full, thick one – he actually shaved it off just to do this and Dave Davies shaved as well,” Carlson added. He has never done this kind of fund raising before and it has been interesting for him. “I’ve not always been comfortable asking people for money but some people I know well enough I can encourage them!”

Carlson challenged the Pharamasave team in different ways: within the team to raise at least $100 each; against the other Pharamasave network participating teams (they are number two right now), the team member who raises the most money will have it matched by Pharmasave and of course the final challenge of winning the best mo’ prize – a secret prize for the winner to be judged by a group of, yes, women.

The Mo’judging will take place at the Pharamasave store on Monday, Dec. 3 at 1:00 p.m. and four women will have the final say on the mo’s – Grace McGregor, regional director for area C, Grand Forks city councillor Cher Wyers, Boundary Sentinel editor Mona Mattei, and Cassandra Chin of the Grand Forks Gazette.

Canada leads the Movember movement with $19,256,754 raised already. The Grand Forks team has raised $2,341 with a goal of $5,000. Carlson says that their Pharmasave store will match some of the donations made to the team. Carlson himself sits as number four ranking for individual funds raised across the Pharmasave network.

Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Carlson says that the moustache he is growing has prompted many a conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health. Carlson’s brother-in-law passed away from a rare form of cancer about 10 years ago and it has led to their interest in supporting cancer research. Laura takes the lead on organizing the Pharmasave team for the Relay for Life, and now Graeme has his mo’.

“They guys who’ve joined are really having fun with it,” he added. “It’s like a conversation opener – why are you wearing the moustache, and I can say, well, I’m glad you asked… we are helping raise money. It’s just a way to open up a conversation.”

At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate their gallantry and valour by either throwing their own Movember party, and after the celebration, many of the Mo’s will disappear.  

“I’ve had some fun growing it,” laughed Carlson adding that his family got into the decision on the look of the Mo. “My kids they said, you’ve got to go with the Hulk Hogan look. It impacts my ability to eat sometimes and it’s at a point where I can feel it, like it’s pins and needles. I don’t know how a person can wear a full beard all the time!”

Team Pharmasave #106 includes: Graeme Carlson, Don Cobb, Mickey Brooks, Ian Mitchell, Jason Markle, Bob Kendel, Todd Benson, Bob De Vries, Dave Davies, Brian Johnson, Rod Jacobs, Pierre Peron, Alan Markle, Gary Babin, Paul Kostka, Ed Bron, and Steve Biglow.

If you see any of them out and about you can donate to them, donate at the Pharmasave store, or go online to donate at: http://ca.movember.com/team/604921 and click on the donate on the left hand side. Although Movember ends on Nov. 30, Carlson says the website still accepts donations into December.

Categories: GeneralHealth