The teams target was $55,000 which we have smashed by raising a very impressive $65,000 to help stop men dying too young. If you would like to read some more information about the Movember Foundation please see below to view some of the opening speech from the night, by Vanessa Grundy.
In September we all headed down to MO HQ in Richmond for a few days of training. When we arrived we all had the opportunity to speak about why we became involved with Movember. As everyone shared their stories I was shocked and saddened to realise that I was one of only a couple of lucky ones in the group who had not had a very personal experience with suicide.
These other ambassadors told stories of losing partners, fathers, brothers, uncles and best friends. Some had also struggled with depression and had been at that point where ending their life felt like the only option.
It was very confronting to hear these stories so very real and very raw. Hearing about a 2 year old asking ‘where is daddy and when is he coming back’. Hearing another story of someone whose uncle had died by suicide and while the family was still trying to come to terms with their loss only 2 weeks later his brother also took his own life.
The main point that stuck with me about all these stories was that they all said what could I have done?, why didn’t they feel comfortable to speak to me and tell me they were struggling?, why didn’t I ask the tough questions?. I could have helped and they may still be here.
The reality is that in Australia, on average 5 men each day will take their own life and worldwide half a million men take their own life each year, that’s one every minute! This evening we will be here for around 7 hours, that’s over 400 minutes, over 400 lives too many!
Movember are working towards educating people to have real conversations. We all need to do better. It’s ok to say I’m not ok. We need to ask the tough questions of the people we care about and be prepared to listen. We don’t have all the answers but for people struggling with depression having someone to talk openly and honestly with can literally save their life. We don’t want to be questioning what could I have done once it’s too late.
The Movember Foundation also supports prostate and testicular cancer. The reality is that prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years. Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50 years.
Prostate cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men, kills 35 men every hour and by 2030 1.7 million men will be living with this disease. Testicular cancer strikes early, it is the most common cancer in men under 40. Around 1 in 20 men who have testicular cancer will still die from the disease. By 2030 the Movember Foundation want to halve the number of men dying from these diseases.
When it comes to prostate and testicular cancer the Movember Foundation is thinking globally. They have a Global Action Plan and are working towards Global collaboration. As it was so well explained to us in Melbourne – Australian researchers use Australian money and Australian resources to conduct research to find cures for Australian patients. Canadian researchers use Canadian money and resources to find cures for Canadian patients and so on. The Movember Foundation acknowledges how ridiculous this is and they are working towards collaboration and knowledge sharing among International researchers to hopefully bring a cure sooner.
It was sad to hear the experts say that they didn’t expect to see a cure in our lifetime. However, they are also working to help treatment outcomes for those suffering with these diseases. Movember have developed a Prostate Cancer Outcomes Registry which will give both doctors and patients information about treatments, how successful they have been for others and other effects these treatments have had. This registry will help to offer better treatment plans for those living with the disease.
Over the past 13 years the Movember Foundation have funded more than twelve hundred men’s health projects around the world. If you are interested to learn more I have put a little information in your programs or there is a load of information on the Movember website.
The main message from Movember about being involved is three simple things – GROW, MOVE, HOST.
GROW – grow a mo, use your mo to start a conversation about men’s health issues.
MOVE – the move challenge, do some kind of physical activity every day for the month of Movember.
And finally HOST – host or attend an event. Have fun, raise awareness and money and get conversations happening. That’s exactly what we are here for tonight. We will be holding auctions later this evening and we also have silent auctions underway so take a look and make a bid – these will close at 10.30. There will be plenty of opportunities to buy raffle tickets with a 100 great prizes to be won.
Since Team Rissole joined the fight for men’s health in 2009 we have raised over 280 thousand dollars. This year our target is $55,000 so please dig deep so we can help the Movember Foundation continue to stop men dying too young. Thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors who will be appearing on the screen throughout the night. Without your support we wouldn’t be able to raise these much needed funds.
Now I would like to introduce our MC for this evening Mr Greg Florimo. Greg is a former Australian Rugby League player known for his lifelong association with North Sydney Bears.
But before Greg comes up I would like to leave you with a video from this year’s campaign. Thanks for your time and I hope you all have a fantastic evening.