Dickson accepts Movember challenge

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Prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

Every year ‘Mo Bros’ and ‘Mo Sistas’, as they are called by The Movember Foundation, raise funds and bring awareness to these men’s health issues, and more, encouraging early detection, diagnosis and treatment, reducing the risk of preventable deaths.

For Dr. Mark Dickson in Tillsonburg it’s Year 4 as an active Movember participant. It’s the only month of the year when he grows a moustache.

“Anna, my wife, doesn’t necessarily like the look of the moustache,” Dickson laughed, “but with regards to Movember and raising money for men’s health, prostate cancer, testicular cancer research, suicide prevention… it’s for a great cause to grow a moustache to raise awareness for these initiatives. So she is okay with me sporting the moustache this time of the year…. for one month.”

Dickson traditionally begins the month of November with a shave, done at home, to kick off Movember, which originated in Australia in November 1999.


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“Some of my friends and I, we all do a clean shave and then take a picture. When Movember is done, I have the kids (Josie and Thomas) help with the shaving. I have barber clippers that they use to shave the longer hairs off, then I’ll do the fine shaving after that. I find that if I don’t include them, they will get scared because I look different.”

Dickson, who has raised $4,288 since 2015, said he had always wanted to take part in the event, but November was not an ideal month.

“A lot of my friends would start doing it so I wanted to join them and join the cause of Movember. So I had support from friends that encouraged me to go ahead and grow a moustache and raise money for Movember. They were the ones that got me going.”

Dickson, owner of Dickson Chiropractic, is generously supported by his patients in Movember – the office decor includes moustache memorabilia. He has a Kleenex box – with moustache on it, he has a moustache balloon, and a newspaper clipping from 2017.

“They see it and tend to chip in later in the month once the moustache starts growing more. In the beginning, the first week, is usually slower (collecting donations), because it usually takes a week or two for the moustache to come in. As the moustache grows, the donations grow.”

Social media is also a big part of his Movember campaign. He has ‘Dr. Mark Dickson’ page on the Movember Canada website (https://ca.movember.com/mospace/12563117), which as of Monday showed he had raised $86 of his $1,500 goal.


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“I have known several survivors of Prostate Cancer,” says Dickson on his web page, “and am dedicating my work to supporting these amazing men. We can all do our best when working together and supporting one another through various challenges in life.”

He posts a photo to the page on a daily basis throughout Movember, showing his supporters how the moustache growth is progressing, and provides a research statistic about prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

“I link it to Facebook to keep some of my followers updated with how the fundraising is going and how the moustache is looking.”

Last year he set a target of $1,000, and in Movember 2017 doubled that with last-minute donations putting him over the $2,000 milestone.

This year his goal is $1,500.

“It is a lot of money and I don’t want to get too overly stressed about ‘one week away and I need another $1,000 to come in.’ So I decided to keep it at $1,500 and see how the month progresses.”

A new element was added to Movember 2018, known as ‘My Move’. In many cases, that will involve running or walking, and his web page has a ‘My Move’ kilometre counter.

“The idea is to lead by example, that by me being active it might help others be active. So on the website, I’m updating it. I’m trying a 30-day plank challenge… the challenge is to do a five-minute plank at the end of 30 days.

“Tamara Bull started this 30-day plank challenge back in January and she is kind of a leader in the community doing these planks. Her record is 51 minutes right now, holding a plank – and her mother does it, and her daughter, so it’s three generations that can do over a five-minute plank. Hearing this, it’s inspired me to also trying a five-minute plank. I think it’s going to be very difficult. My wife Anna is also training too, so we will both do a five-minute plank on the last day of Movember.”


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Donations to Dickson’s Movember fundraising campaign can be made through the website, which accepts debit, credit cards and Paypal.

“If it’s over $10 you can get a receipt for income tax, so that’s nice. Patients and friends typically give me money and I will process the information online for them, then they will get a reciept to their email address.”

As of Sunday night, the moustache was still in its early stages.

“It’s starting,” he laughed. “Yeah, there’s more today.”

Dickson was contacted by a local Unifor rep this year who will be raising funds for Movember through their union and, after learning of Dickson’s campaign through social media, will be presenting Dickson with a cheque at the end of the month.

“That’s great.”

Also, the Tillsonburg Hurricanes junior hockey team, who gave Dickson a Movember donation last year, have stepped up to grow their own Movember moustaches.

“They will be helping my campaign as well. At the end, maybe we’ll get some pictures with the team.”


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