EDMONTON – For the third year in a row, Mike Harding is posting a new photo of himself and his dog Xander in a different costume each day of Movember.
Harding works as a registered nurse at Edmonton’s Cross Cancer Institute. He sees people deal with the devastating diagnosis of cancer on a daily basis.
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“Initially, for me, I got involved because it was a fun, easy way for me to kind of support the people that I work with,” said Harding. “This is, in part, for them and certainly for family and friends who’ve been diagnosed with cancer.”
For him, the month of November provides him with an opportunity to do something about it.
“Certainly, donate, that’s one of the reasons. Also, to learn a bit more about screening, prevention for prostate and testicular cancer and also to reduce stigma around mental health challenges.”
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It also gives him the chance to make people smile.
“I find it really, really fun to do and I continue to do it because I do hear those comments about how they enjoy it so much, how it makes their day, how it makes them smile.
“It brings joy to people’s lives. And if I can do that for a month that’s awesome. And raise money for men’s health in the process? It’s good.”
Harding started a Movember team four years ago.
Those taking part are encouraged to share photos and updates of their progress. Harding quickly discovered people were much more interested in the campaign – and donations went up – when his dog Xander was part of his update posts.
“When he came in, people started appreciating that more and he’s been in them ever since.”
In the end, if some hilarious photos can bring attention to a disease that is anything but, Harding will feel he’s been able to help in a small way.
“If it can initiate conversations between men or just family members about their health and about accessing resources…that certainly makes me feel so happy and proud that I can contribute to those conversations to improve men’s health.”
Click here to visit Harding’s Movember page and donate.
Harding also hopes to make a calendar using the Xander Movember photos to further fundraising efforts.
Global also has a Movember team. To learn more about Team Global Do-MO-nation, click here and find out how you can help the cause.