One afternoon late last month, October 23 I think, I decided "yeah I'll do it". And with that, I've signed up for my first Movember.
Why join? Well, being sick of the same beard that I haven't removed in eleven years did have something to do with it, but I decided that if it was time to go the Fresh Face, it's time to do something meaningful with it. And supporting one of the world's leading awareness and fund-raising campaigns for men's health makes a bit of sense when I'm 53 and, well, a men.
Movember, for those who don't know, is a month-long campaign spanning the month of November where guys grow a moustache in the name of raising money for men's health initiatives. In Australia, the two major beneficiaries are the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue: the national depression and anxiety initative.
The Movember website has an explanation of where the Movember donation money goes. A total of $123 million was raised worldwide in 2011 by over 850,000 participants.
I had my annual routine blood test last week, and it went well. The tests for prostate cancer showed that I am at a low risk in the next few years. It's reassuring to know this, and I'll be back having another test in a year's time to see if anything has changed.
Depression, however, is something that has been an issue with me for several years, and will always remain so. I think it's under control in my case. For many people it's not - and sometimes isn't even properly identified until it's tragically too late. We need to change this.
Regular medical checkups are something everyone needs to have, especially as we get older.
And please donate. I doesn't have to be to my Movember campaign, it could be to any one of the thousands of other Movember groups or individuals around the world (and remember, there are "mo sistas" taking part as well as "mo bros"). But one way or another, please support us.