“About halfway through the month it gets itchy, and now, because it’s kind of growing over my lip, it’s definitely there,” Ott said. “I’m just not used to it, that’s all.”
This is the fourth year Ott has participated in the Movember effort, where men — Mo Bros — sprout whiskers to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.
The movement began in Australia, where “mo” is slang for moustache, Ott said.
Ott has a team of 15 men participating this year, among them Devan Seabaugh of Marietta, vice president of MetroAtlanta Ambulance.
“My father had prostate cancer, and they found it early on through routine prostate checkups and were able to take care of it,” Seabaugh said. “He’s since passed away from other causes, but he survived prostate cancer because of regular checkups and testing. I think there’s a cure out there for all cancer, and the only way we’re going to find it is to continue to fund research.”
Seabaugh said his wife, Beth, is not a fan of his November whiskers.
“She told me she would pay me lots of money to shave it off, and I asked her if it would come out of my checkbook,” Seabaugh said. “If it wouldn’t come out of my checkbook, I would take her up on it.”
The idea is that people ask about the new moustache, which gives an opening to raise awareness about prostate and testicular cancer, he said.
“People ask you — they always do their hand-across-their-lip motion — ‘hey, you got a little mustache going,’” Seabaugh said. “You have an opportunity to say, ‘hey, we’re trying to raise awareness of prostate cancer,’ and if it’s a male, say, ‘make sure you get your prostate checked once a year.’”
Ott’s father died from prostate cancer in 2008, which is what spurred him to join the movement.
“Historically, men are terrible about going to the doctor, getting physicals, and a lot of them die early because they don’t catch it,” Ott said. “Public officials, people aren’t used to them having facial hair, and that’s to me one of the reasons it’s so important for somebody like me to do it because we are out in the public so you have the opportunity to really get people’s attention with it.”
Ott’s group raised about $5,500 as of Friday, he said.