Going the distance to support men’s health

Maps Maponyane is using the power of his MOve commitment to create conversations around men’s health and believes men need to live more actively and take better care of their health

“A healthy lifestyle keeps your mind clear and makes you feel more positive and better about yourself. Men need to think about their health and not feel embarrassed to talk about tough times,” Maponyane says.

Movember’s annual MOve campaign encourages men and women to have fun doing something good while doing something great for men’s health.

You can set a distance goal that challenges you, and then walk, run, cycle, swim or row towards it while raising funds for the cause.

Jacques de Kock, from Sunningdale in the Western Cape, has joined Movember’s MOve campaign to raise R50 000 in memory of his father who died of throat cancer in September 2016.

In 2016, De Kock and some of his friends did a small sponsored run in memory of his dad, but this year they decided to “go big” and be part of the Movember campaign.

READ MORE: Ramp up your training regime

For every R50 that is raised, he and 10 other runners have pledge to run 1km. So far the total pledged is close to R30 000, which amounts to an impressive 600km. The team has promised to keep running until they meet their side of the bargain, even if it means continuing into December.

“By the time my father’s diagnosis was confirmed, his cancer had advanced and he was only given a few months to live. I want to make sure that other men realise how important early diagnosis is,” De Kock says.

Billy de Kock had a diaphragm rapture operation that caused his food to get stuck in his throat and he thought that was the cause. When in fact it was cancer blocking the food going through.

When the pain became severe, he was diagnosed with what the doctor thought was a minor cancerous growth, and had chemo and radiation treatment. Sadly, three months later, the cancer was found to have metastasised throughout his body and he died just three months after the doctors told him there was nothing they could do to save his life.

“When someone in your family gets cancer, like my dad did, it really opens your eyes. I know that you can’t prevent yourself getting cancer, especially if it is in your genes. But you can catch it early enough to make a difference. So for me, the amount of money we raise is not my motivation. What I’m really hoping is that our MOve campaign will encourage men to get checked, early and often,” he says.

READ MORE: 4 reasons you’re not losing belly fat

“Men are facing a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. We have to make a stand and stop men dying too young, before their time,” says Garron Gsell, CEO and founder of the Men’s Foundation, which manages the Movember campaign in South Africa under licence from the Movember Foundation.

Movember is the leading global men’s health charity, funding over 1 200 projects in 21 countries worldwide – focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

Here’s how you can help:

Grow a Mo, save a Bro

The moustache is the Movember Foundation’s ribbon for men’s health. Use it to raise funds as a walking billboard for men’s health. It’s not too late to sign up for Movember. Want to take your Mo to the next level? Sacrifice your beard, auction off your face to the highest donor, or dye your Mo a different colour every day. Get creative to attract attention and raise funds.

MOve – get active for men’s health

Raise funds for men’s health while you do something good for your own health. Join the MOve challenge and make a commitment to be more physically active for the month. Get friends and family to donate to your efforts, and become healthier in the process.

Donate

Show the Mo Bros and Mo Sistas in your life that you support their Movember challenge by donating to their Mo Space. You can check in on their progress to see how their Mo is growing, or see how far along they are in their Move goal. Every little bit counts to help stop men dying too young.

Choose how you’ll get involved and get your friends, your family or your workplace on board. Spread the word, start a conversation, and raise money for vital men’s health programmes.