Ali Dolatabadi, director of the graduate program in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, is one of dozens of male Concordians gamely growing a moustache this month to support the Movember campaign, which raises awareness and money for men’s health, specifically mental health and prostate cancer.
Dolatabadi’s newly hirsute upper lip has helped him raise more than $600 for the campaign, but it is receiving, shall we say … mixed reviews.
“One of my colleagues in the department, she said, ‘Oh! You look really cute. But one of my PhD students, she couldn’t stop laughing. She was almost crying!” he recalls. “She had to leave the room. She left, came back after two minutes, and then started laughing again. And she was really, literally crying!”
Dolatabadi doesn’t mind. For him, the guffaws and even the tears are all worth it, if his new look helps get the conversation going about men’s health, and reminds more men to get regular checkups. (Prostate cancer is far more treatable when detected early.) “Because your face has changed, it gets people talking about it,” he says. “It’s nicely done this way because it’s annual and for a specific period of time.”
A whole group from Le Gym is also taking part in the Movember campaign. Personal trainer and Manager Daniel Roy’s facial-hair-cultivating efforts have resulted in an impressive handlebar ’stache that has attracted a lot of attention from gym-goers. It has also helped him raise almost $760 so far.
“It’s for a good cause,” he says. “I feel like a lot of the other cancers get a lot more exposure than maybe prostate cancer does, so I think it’s a good initiative … and it’s a good time.
Sebastien Jacek-Côté, personal trainer and captain of the Mo Gym Bros team, has an equally impressive handlebar moustache. He says he decided to join the campaign partly because two of his grandparents died of cancer, but also because he wanted to take part in what has become an extremely popular global movement. “It’s kind of fun to get a bunch of guys together to grow big, ridiculous moustaches,” he mutters from beneath his furry contribution.
A large contingent of students from the John Molson School of Business (JMSB) has also mounted a successful Movember campaign this year, with support from CASA Cares, the non-profit segment of the Commerce and Administration Student Association. So far, the 66 members of Team JMoSB have raised $5,575.
“I’m really excited to shave this thing off in December,” says third-year business administration student Andrew Lorant, who has raised $1,216 so far, and sits on top of the Concordia fundraising leaderboard. “It’s been itchy and …” He pauses, reconsidering. “No, but it’s not bad. It’s not bad.”
Lorant says he took part in Movember last year because a lot of his friends were on board, but he didn’t raise any money. “Then this year, I was like, ‘Hey, if I’m doing it, I might as well do it for the right reason, to raise money.’ ”
Lorant’s fundraising efforts earned him a free ticket to the JMoSB Movember Gala, presented by CASA Cares, which will take place Thursday, November 29 at 10 p.m. It is one of hundreds of Movember parties taking place around the world to mark the end of the annual campaign.
Although Movember may seem like a rather male-dominated affair, women can also take part by becoming Mo Sistas, raising money for Prostate Cancer Canada and the Movember Foundation, raising awareness, and encouraging the men in their lives to be aware of their own health. Five of the top 20 fundraisers on the JMoSB team are female students.
• Concordia teams on the Movember site