Niall Houlihan: “it’s been a real opportunity to talk to people about serious issues worthy of our attention”

Author: Niall Houlihan

As you might have seen already, Callan, Sean, Jack, Keiron, Gaetan, and I are taking on the Movember challenge this month with the specific aim of supporting Callan’s fundraiser in aid of Cancer Research UK. He’ll run the next London Marathon in support of this great charity, and in honour of his late father, Ciarán, who passed away earlier this year.

Like many great ideas, the idea to convince AH colleagues to grow out their ‘staches came about over a drink, while Callan brainstormed fundraising ideas out loud, and was quickly set in motion after discussion with Sean the following day. We all agreed that this was a good way to support Callan’s fundraising efforts and a great way to raise awareness for some really important issues.

Typically, the Movember challenge aims to raise funds for men’s health issues, specifically testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men; one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime; and one man dies every minute by suicide. As well as raising much-needed funds, it’s been a real opportunity to talk to people about men’s health issues — a casual way to talk about serious issues, worthy of our attention.

On a personal level, the prospect of growing a ‘tache for the first time was both nerve-wracking and exciting and, on day 15, I’m actually having a lot of fun with it. At least once a day, someone will ask me about how it’s all going and we’ll both laugh in mutual agreement about the fact that it is not one bit visually pleasing and they’ll sheepishly suggest that it “doesn’t look that bad — but have you seen Callan’s?!” I take a picture every day to chart my progress and look forward to putting them all together at the end of the month.

The most gladdening thing so far has been the reminder that people are generous — people are very generous! All we need to do is make it easy for them to remember this. With that in mind, please see Callan’s fundraising page here.

Pictured above: Keiron Cooke, Sean Michael Gross, Jack Haynes & Niall Houlihan


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