The buzzing of razors and snipping of scissors heralded the end of November last week in Nanaimo.
With the end of the month came the end of the Movember prostate cancer awareness campaign, which saw men growing various forms of facial hair – moustaches, goatees, beards – during the month.
El Martel, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer four years ago, believes strongly in the cause. He grew his hair for two years and moustache for 40, seeing both shorn Saturday at a Movember-end event at the Hammond Bay Road Coastal Community Credit Union with assistance from a stylist from Persona Hair Group.
Martel, who raised $1,482 (as of Saturday) and donated his hair, had his cancer detected early and is living with it, side-effect free. He is hoping that people follow his example with early and regular screenings.
“The most important reason is to make men and women aware to go see [their] doctor at least once a year for a complete checkup and blood work,” Martel said. “It’s up to the women to tell their men, ‘Go see a doctor every year,’ and the women themselves too. Go see a doctor every year for a complete checkup and early diagnosis of any problems you may have.”
SportsBarbers in Nanaimo also had a Movember-end event Saturday, with about six people getting their hair and moustaches clipped – $540 was raised through 50/50 draws and donations.
“We raised money that night at the event and we gave it to (fundraiser) Malcolm Neville … and he takes it as a single donation from SportsBarbers and adds it to his own fundraising efforts,” said owner Melissa Hoffort.
As for Martel, a member of the non-profit service club Kin Canada, he will grow his hair back and is challenging Kinsmen and Kinettes (club members) across the country to follow in his hair-razing footsteps.
“Our motto at [Kin Canada] is to support the community’s greatest needs and if we’re alive, we can [do that] but if we’re sick and worse, we can’t so early diagnosis is the biggest thing,” Martel said.