Brad Lunn’s grandfather and father both had prostate cancer
By Diego Flammini
Seeing more photos of mustaches and unique facial hair designs isn’t new for this time of year.
November is Movember, where men grow mustaches or beards during the month to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues including prostate cancer and suicide.
For Brad Lunn, a cash crop and beef producer from near London, Ont., his Movember participation is personal.
Lunn’s grandfather received a prostate cancer diagnosis about 15 years ago. Shortly thereafter, his father, Brian, received the same news.
“I remember thinking that for my dad it never seemed unbeatable,” Brad told Farms.com. “My mom (Donna) is a nurse, so she was on top of it.”
Lunn’s grandfather passed away in 2008 from complications related to prostate cancer. That same year, Brian had surgery for his cancer.
“Dad is still kickin’,” Brad said.
Lunn grew mustaches during Movember before his family’s personal connection to the cause.
But now he tries to take his facial creations to new heights to spark conversations.
He’s grown different kinds of mustaches, dyed his facial hair different colours and has rummaged through his wife Janine and daughter’s hair accessories to find items to keep in his beard or mustache.
“If I can do something silly with my face and, people ask me why I’m doing it and I can tell them I’m raising awareness for prostate cancer, all the better,” he said. “I’d go out in the community with a bird or something in my beard. People would point it out to me and if it was a man, I’d say it’s for prostate cancer awareness and remind them to get examined.
“My wife isn’t very fond of facial hair but at this point she puts up with it.”
Lunn is hoping his efforts contribute to the mustache removal of a famous athlete.
Toronto Maple Leafs player Auston Matthews has committed to shaving off his mustache if his Movember page can raise $134,000 by the end of the month.
“His mustache is ugly,” Lunn said. “So that’s where I’m putting my money this year.”
As of Nov. 18, Matthews’ page has raised $115,493.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Canadian men, and about one in nine men will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime.
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends getting tested around age 50. Men who have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer should consider getting tested around age 45.
Lunn had his test in his 30s.
“I’m 44 now and I did my PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test in my late 30s,” he said. “It’s obviously in the family so I wanted to get that benchmark.”
The test measures the amount of PSA, a protein made by prostate cells, in the blood.
Lunn encourages men to get tested.
Men shouldn’t be shy of talking about their health, he said.
“Movember has done a great job of removing this stigma around men and their health,” he said. “If you’re approaching the age where you should get tested, talk to your doctor. There’s also lots of resources available online.