The Creston Valley Thunder Cats and the Canadian Cancer Society put men’s health issues at center ice with “Grow-vember” throughout the month of November. This health campaign focused on men’s cancers that occur “below the belt” and encouraged men of all ages to be proactive when it comes to their health.
According to Canadian Cancer Society health promotion co-ordinator Patti Moore, 3,100 B.C. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year.
“We know that men generally don’t like to talk about their health issues but it’s important that these taboos are broken,” she said. “The society wants men to know that cancers below the waist are serious, especially as slightly more men than women are diagnosed with cancer. In addition to prostate cancer, this men’s health initiative was also focused on colon and testicular cancers.”
The month-long campaign saw the Thunder Cats rallying their community to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society, which was on hand at two home games over the month, encouraging men to “get to know their equipment’” and providing information on men’s health.
“We are very excited to be working with the Thunder Cats as these young, healthy players are role models for local youth and young adults in our community,” said Canadian Cancer Society revenue development co-ordinator Lori Stevenson. “It is cool to know your body and to be pro-active when it comes to our health
The Thunder Cats worked hard all month to raise money in support of men’s health, and are grateful for all the wonderful support they received for their campaign.
“We put a fundraising thermometer in our lobby,” said souvenirs and merchandising director Sally Keck. “The goal was to raise $1600, and if we hit that every player on the team committed to shaving their heads. Well, the hair was flying — we did it!”
In an act of solidarity, assistant coach Geromy Piva joined the players in shaving his head.
Stevenson was excited to see the community get behind this campaign.
“We did similar campaigns with a number of Kootenay region hockey clubs,” she said. “I’m pleased to report that the Thunder Cats raised more money than any other team for the men’s health campaign.
“”We are encouraging men to have a game plan because these cancers can have positive outcomes if detected and treated early. The goal is get them to talk about it more and to seek out information about cancer prevention and early detection.”
Men can learn more about creating their own “What’s your game plan?” by visiting www.cancergameplan.ca.