Daniel Craig (left) and Stephen Ryan are two of the Langley Township firefighters who are participating in Movember this year. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Facial hair marks Movember for Langley Township firefighters

The fundraiser for men’s health causes runs all month

Some of the members of Langley Township’s Fire Department have a big more on their upper lip this month, as they raise money for the annual Movember event.

“I just believe in the cause,” said Daniel Craig, a firefighter who works out of the Brookswood Hall.

Movember is about bringing attention and funding to health issues that disproportionately affect men, with a focus on prostate and testicular cancer, and mental health awareness.

To make that committment visible, clean-shaven men grow moustaches during the month of November, hence the name Movember.

The charity’s goal is to reduce the number of premature deaths of men by 25 per cent by the year 2030.

Craig noted that those health issues resonate with firefighters.

“I think it’s one that touches close to firefighters,” Craig said. “We deal with a lot of cancer, and with a lot of mental illness too.

Exposure to smoke from burning materials has been shown to casue an increased incidence of cancer in firefighters. A large study in the United States found a nine per cent increase in cancers, and a 14 per cent greater incidence of cancer-related death for firefighters compared to the general population.

So far the team organized by the Township of Langley Firefighters Charities organization – which is run by the firefighters union – has raised $3,750 towards Movember, and a number of members are now sporting more facial hair.

The Langley Township firefighters have a Movember team page, where donations can be made and the totals of various members can be seen.

So far the top fundraiser by far is Max Blair, who has already raised $2,975 of the total.

“Despite the fact I still grow whiskers like a 12-year-old, I’ve teamed up with some of the gang from work and decided to participate in the Movember campaign again this year!” Blair wrote on his Movember fundraising page. “I’m fighting for my dad who is just gearing up for his battle against cancer. It’s not cancer of the nether regions however its cancer all the same and it’s time to kick cancer’s butt!”

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