“ Actually do something, no matter how small or big, just do something that you know will help them.
Adam Garone is the second Featured mAss Kicker from down under. He is one of the creators of “Movember,” a global campaign designed to bring awareness to men’s health issues and benefit prostate cancer research and the LiveStrong Young Adult Alliance. Movember’s unique blend of fun, irreverence, and innovative use of technology has created a grass roots movement that has experienced exponential growth. In 2007, the campaign went global, with more than 134,000 men from US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Spain, New Zealand and Australia growing Mos. With continued success, Movember 2009 brought together almost 256,000 moustaches procuring over a million donations to raise $40 million.
mK: Hi Adam! Thanks for spending time with us. How in the world did you come up with the idea for “Movember”?
AG: Back in 2003 my brother Trav and friend Lucky were drinking beers talking about 80s fashion and how everything manages to comes back into style. After a few more beers the conversation turned to the moustache and why it hadn’t made a come back, a few more beers and the Movember challenge was created – to bring the moustache back.
Then I got involved, realizing the potential of a moustache in generating conversation and controversy I suggested we justify the Moustache by linking it to men’s health and the male equivalent of breast cancer – prostate cancer. In 2004 we developed our tag line “Changing the face of men’s health.”
Fast-forward to 2010, to date we have raised over $100 Million. The moustache has emerged as the global symbol for men’s health, with official campaigns in ten countries. Movember challenges men to start the month clean-shaven and grow a moustache for 30 days, raising awareness and funds for cancer affecting men. The Mo serves as the hairy ribbon and the guys participating become a walking, talking billboard for the month of Movember, sparking hundreds of conversations about their health and prostate cancer.
mK: Wow! Makes us wonder about how the best ideas come about… How big is Movember in Australia now?
AG: In 2009 we had 128,000 Mo Bros (guys growing moustaches) and Mo Sistas (girls that love the Mo and the guys doing Movember) who together raised $21 Million. That’s from a population the size of Southern California.
mK: How did Movember make it to the States?
AG: Movember is a grassroots movement and we rely heavily on word of mouth marketing, so it’s taken a few years to create some momentum. But we are making in-roads. Much like Australia and all the other countries we are in, the men’s health / prostate cancer movement is about 15 years behind the women’s health / breast cancer movement in the US – our aim with the power of the moustache each Movember, is to bridge that gap.
mK: We’ll admit, there is nothing out there like “Movember.” Who is your hero or heroes?
AG: Steve Jobs and Tom Selleck for his iconic moustache.
mK: HAHAHA! So, what makes you laugh, cry, angry?
Cry – some of the personal cancer stories and people I get involved in. We are making progress but we have much to do.
Angry – I try my best not to get angry, to respond versus react.
mK: What motivates you?
AG: I genuinely love what I, we have created a global movement and that we are changing the world. We will effectively cure prostate cancer through Movember’s awareness and education program, our survivorship program and the global research we are funding.
mK: What would you say is the most interesting thing you’ve done?
AG: I was an officer in the Australian Army Special Forces for 8 years that was always very interesting and challenging.
mK: Wow! Here’s a random question for you… Do Australian women find American accents as attractive as American women find Australian accents?
AG: YES, they do – they would love Eric down under!
mK: HAHAHA! You just gave hope to countless geeks and nerds out there! Thank you. What is your guilty pleasure?
AG: I love food and wine – it’s my favorite thing to share with friends.
mK: Food is necessary to sustain life. Wine is mentioned in the Bible, so no need to feel guilty about it… hee hee. Here is another random question for you… If you could hangout with one person for 24 hours, who would it be and why?
AG: Marcy my girlfriend – my travel schedule is insane and we rarely get to catch up properly.
mK: What do you like to do in your spare time?
AG: Surf, cycle, enjoy great food and wine.
mK: What are you up to now?
AG: This is the busiest time of the year, I’m out there promoting Movember and getting men to grow moustaches.
I like saying that when people in the LA scene ask me what I do – I just reply, I get men to grow moustaches… guaranteed!
mK: Any advice for people or loved ones that get daunting diagnoses?
AG: It’s such a personal journey, there’s no general advice I can offer. What I do suggest is that for the people around them never say “Let me know what I can do to help”. Actually do something, no matter how small or big, just do something that you know will help them.
mK: Tell us something about yourself that people probably didn’t know… anything.
AG: I was an officer in the Australian Army Special Forces for 8 years.
mK: OK, lesson learned… “Don’t mess with Adam Garone.” Any parting words for all the mAss Kickers?
AG: For the guys, grow a Moustache this Movember. Register at www.movember.com and help us change the face of men’s health.
For the girls, love the men of Movember – they need your support!
Adam Garone, intelligent guy with hairy upper lip, Australian Army Special Forces Bad-Ass, and all-around cool guy. Join Team Tumors Suck! on the Movember website to support Men’s Health! Join our team… Grow a “Mo” or make donation to Movember to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the LiveStrong Young Adult Alliance.