Are You Ready for Movember?

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The Mo Bros: Team Nuclear members show off their Movember efforts last year. Photo by Jim Collins

I am a cancer survivor.

Some would give anything to survive. Like Lance Armstrong , I was willing to literally give my left nut. With that, I would like to share my story.

It was late summer, 1988. As a recent graduate from the University of Notre Dame, I was supposed to embark on a career, and make my mark in the world. Other than a laundry list of sports injuries, I was healthy.

But then I felt it, and I knew what it was. A tumor, a mass, had taken over my testicle. The next day, still there. One really does know their body.

My Mom and Dad were about to drive my youngest brother to his freshman year at Notre Dame. In the infinite wisdom of a parent, they made me take my aunt. I walked in to see the doctor, a specialist. I bravely shared my belief that I had a tumor we needed to remove. The doctor examined me, sat me down and clinically shared his 15-minute assessment. But in my new reality, all I heard was “cancer, surgery, next week”. I did need someone to be there.

Surgery went off as expected. I had gone from self-diagnosis to tumor removal in just over a week. I was scared, but I knew I had to become a cancer survivor.

My first decision was whether to perform a lymph node removal. Lymph nodes are the body’s filters and the next likely place for the cancer to spread. On the other hand, there was a study that found 70 percent of lymph node removals were unnecessary, with significant associated risks. Like no babies for me.

I went to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston, home of the Jimmy Fund, a children’s cancer charity of the Boston Red Sox. A doctor, a Harvard man, offered to put me in a study where we would take my blood once a month, for five years, and watch the markers. If they elevated, surgery.

Here’s what got me through. I prayed. I prayed and also visualized my cancer was a golf ball and I was in a sand trap. I would swing and swing and swing hard. Also, when I gave blood at Dana Farber, the Jimmy Fund kids were sitting in seats next to me and across the aisle. Laughing, joking, balding, happy. They smiled when they looked at me and asked, “Why do you still have hair?” Another asked, “Why is he wearing those silly suspenders?” I can see their faces as if it were yesterday.

Their youthful strength became my strength. If they could do this, I could do this. The kids inspired me as they often do today.

Fast forward, I am sneaking up on 25 years being cancer free. Doctors say I am as likely to get cancer as you are. I have two beautiful girls and a wonderful wife.

And, with all that mental practice, I have no troubles hitting out of sand traps these days.

I am a cancer survivor, that is my story, and I am sticking to it.

This November – Movember, now – I will once again join my Mo Bros in growing a moustache (a Mo) to raise money and awareness of men’s cancer. A mustache that my kids will make fun of and my wife refuses to kiss. Mo Bro’s do this in hopes that you will ask us, “What is up with that cheesy moustache?” which we will take as  invitation to engage in a discussion about men’s health.

For the month of Movember, Team Nuclear, a Top 10 national finisher last year, will once again challenge Newport Beach and Costa Mesa to join us. To grow a mustache, to donate, to share in the dialogue about men’s health.

Guys register at pledging a clean-shaven face on Movember 1. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous Mo Bros will groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, the Mo Bros of Movember raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.

You can also find my name and make a donation, thanks in advance.

Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards during the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.

At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate their gallantry and valor by either throwing their own Movember party or attending one of the infamous Gala Partés held around the world by Movember, for Movember.

Send green thoughts and Mo Bro ideas to [email protected]

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  1. Seth, thanks. I clicked your name, took me to your Mo Bro page. Excellent. You can click my name to take you to my page.

    I am stealling your great idea to post in men’s rooms … targeted marketing!

    Event next Wednesday, Oct 26th, Skosh Monahan’s, Costa Mesa. Cheers to you!