Canada leading Movember movement

EDMONTON – Movember moustaches are looking a little fuller, as the popular campaign – which raises money and awareness for men’s cancers below the waist – moves into its final two weeks.

Since its humble beginnings in Australia nearly ten years ago, the cause has captured Canadians’ hearts – and their upper lips. Jonny Sullivan, Edmonton Movember Committee Co-Chair, has seen first-hand how the movement has grown in our country since making its way here in 2007.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child. We believe it takes a village to get rid of one of these diseases. And we never want to Mo-alone. We get our friends, family involved,” he said.

The team spirit has paid off. For the third year in a row, Canada is sitting at the top Movember fundraising spot. Last year, $42 million was raised across the nation, with Albertans raising almost a quarter of that amount.

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The University of Alberta team alone raised $28,000 – a total this year’s group is hoping to surpass to become the number one fundraising campus in Canada.

Other than bragging rights, the team that wins that title will receive a visit from the man who, not so long ago, was grooming his ‘stache in space: Chris Hadfield.

The money raised from Movember will go to support a number of support services for men fighting prostate cancer, as well as research of the disease.

One Edmonton researcher, Roger Zemp, received nearly $200,000 in Movember money to work on new technologies that would allow doctors to provide more direct treatment and better identify tumours, with the help of lasers and ultrasound.

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“With that we can see new blood vessels that are a hallmark of cancer,” he explained.

Explainer: Prostate cancer

Aside from the dollars Movember is bringing in, there’s one other perk for those taking part:

“Now that winter’s here,” said Sullivan, “it’s great because it keeps your face so much warmer.”

Are you taking part in Movember? Upload a picture of your ‘stache in the comments section below!

Follow @TrishKozicka

With files from Tom Vernon, Global News