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  • Writer's pictureAllie

NAITSA hosts bash to smash cancer…with a ‘stache

Beginning in 2003 with two mates at a bar in Australia, Movember has since expanded to almost seven million “mo’ bros (and sisters)” in 22 countries participating in the annual ‘growth’. This year, NAITSA is joining with their first-ever ‘Stache Bash event on November 25 in support of men’s mental and physical health for Movember.


Few events have occurred at NAIT regarding Movember and, according to NAITSA’s Events Manager, Alexis Sieben, students really wanted this type of initiative in particular. “We brainstormed types of initiatives that are important to students for the year and what they want us to focus on and men’s health was a really big one. So that’s why we focused on Movember this year because it supports and fundraises for men’s physical health and mental health,” said Sieben.


According to the CDC, one in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and one in 29 will die from it. Additionally, one in every 250 men will suffer from testicular cancer in their lifetime, and while over 95 per cent survive it, their quality of life can significantly decrease.


Suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth and young adults. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, around 4,000 people die every year to suicide, with close to 75 per cent being men and boys. That is an average of more than 55 deaths per week in Canada.


NAITSA has started a donation page on the Movember site to help donate to these causes that many men struggle with. The Students’ Association intends to raise awareness of these specific issues at the ‘Stache Bash, “At the nurse’s station, and the NAITSA table, we’ll have resources available for people to take,” said Sieben.


The event aims to not only inform and fundraise but to recognize those who have taken part in Movember throughout the month in support. “[It’s] a fun way to celebrate everyone who worked hard that month to fundraise.”


A large number of NAIT’s Nursing staff have a personal motivation for this initiative yet lack the numbers to host their own event. They are teaming up with NAITSA for the ‘Stache Bash to remind men to physically check themselves for signs of cancer. MC College is also sending aestheticians to the bash who can offer beard and moustache grooming, tips and products. NAITSA is working with local barbers in Edmonton to get some discounts for hot shaves in December.


Students’ course load can prevent them from attending events for their desired duration and sometimes entirely. NAITSA’s Events Manager, Alexis Sieben, was able to fix this by making the ‘Stache Bash “More of a drop-in event … I’m hoping the participation will be really high with mostly just drop-in students who might have not heard about it but still are able to get involved or get some information in a short period of time.”


“I think it’s really nice for [students] to see that as a students’ association we can place some importance [to] make sure events and initiatives like this can be seen and [we can] provide an opportunity for them to get involved even if it’s in such a small way. It still brings awareness to these initiatives,” said Sieben.


Pending the success of this event, NAITSA plans to do it again next year and make changes as needed. NAITSA is currently at 36 per cent of their $2,500 donation goal. To help the NAITSA team and men across the globe, find the ‘Stache Bash on Ookslife.ca and click the link in the description or go to Movember.com.

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