Stash shenanigans as Movember movement grows on Vancouver Island

WatchThousands of people are taking part in Movember, raising awareness and funds to improve men's health. Tess van Straaten takes a look at the mo movement and some of the 'stash shenanigans.

In Vancouver Island’s largest municipality, the fire trucks have them, the police cars have them, the police officers have them and the firefighters have them.

“It was pretty itchy to start but now it’s really just shaving around it now,” says Matthew Northrup of the Saanich Fire Department, stroking his stash.

There are bushy ones, skinny ones, handle-bar ones and barely-there ones but the guys on the District of Saanich Team are all sporting stashes for Movember.

“I don’t like it but it’s for a good cause so you put up with the growing pains for a month,” one firefighter says.

Growing pains, literally — but it’s all to raise funds and awareness for men’s health.

“I just think it’s a great way to bring awareness to prostate cancer and testicular cancer as well as mental health so I decided to shave the beard and grow a mustache,” says Cst. Aaron Grewal of the Saanich Police Department.

“When you see your brothers here going through testicular cancer or prostate cancer, I think it’s a very relevant cause, for this job especially, being a male-dominated job, a lot of the issues we face,” Northrup adds.

There are close to 70 people on the combined fire, police and district team this year — the biggest yet.

For organizer Adam Flint, it’s personal — his dad is a prostate cancer survivor.

“It really brought it home,” Flint says. “Every family is impacted by these types of cancers or mental health issues and it’s not really until you see that and first-hand does it really bring a lot of people in.”

And while growing a mo might be easier for some, the Movember movement, at its root, is about talking about tough topics.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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