Warwick firefighters Ian Barnden, Darren Welsh and Brad Davie put away their razors to raise money and awareness of men’s health issues.
Warwick firefighters Ian Barnden, Darren Welsh and Brad Davie put away their razors to raise money and awareness of men’s health issues. Erin Smith

Mo-tivated to fire up men’s health funding

THEY are brothers-in-arms who spend their lives fighting fires but for the next month the Warwick Firefighters are ditching their clean-shaven looks.

By changing their appearance, they'll be doing their bit to raise money and awareness for men's health issues.

This year is the first the firefighters have officially registered a team through the Movember fundraiser.

The annual event sees men from around the country seek sponsorship and donations for their moustache efforts.

All the money raised goes towards helping raise awareness of men's three biggest health issues - prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.

Five days into the hairiest month of the year and the eight-man team of Warwick Firefighters, dubbed Station 21, have already raised $190.

Station officer Darren Welsh has taken part in the fundraising event individually before.

He decided, if the crew banded together, they would have a better chance of raising more funds.

"The aim is just to help donate towards the men's health issues and help raise awareness," Mr Welsh said.

"The fundraising amounts are growing each year and the more incredible the moustaches get each year, the more awareness it is creating."

Together the group have set a target fundraising goal of $1000.

"We thought it was a nice round number and a good challenge," Mr Welsh said.

"If we get more than that it would be fantastic."

Firefighter Brad Davie said it would be great to see other members from other emergency services taking up the challenge as well.

To donate to either a member of the Station 21 team or the team as a whole, visit movember.com/donate and enter Station 21 into the search bar.

Keep your eye out in the Daily News for moustache progress updates with the Station 21 team.

Movember facts

Prostate cancer

The most common cancer in Australian men and second largest cause of male cancer deaths in Australia.

20,000 new cases are diagnosed in Australia each year and close to 3300 Aussie men will die from the disease every year.

One in eight Australian men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime.

One in seven men will be diagnosed by age 75.

Around nine men die from prostate cancer each day in Australia.

Testicular cancer

Testicular cancer is the second most common cancer, behind skin cancers, in young men aged 18-39 years. It starts as an abnormal growth or tumour that develops in one or both testicles. It is a highly treatable type of cancer with a very good cure rate (about 95%) if found and treated early.

More than half of new diagnoses are in men under the age of 35.

The rate of men being diagnosed with testicular cancer has grown by more than 50% over the past 20 years - the reason for this is unknown.

Mental health

Over their lifetime, mental illness affects almost half the Australian population. Men in particular face a unique set of challenges when it comes to managing their mental wellbeing, with the associated stigma (of shame and embarrassment) often preventing them from seeking help and taking action.

One in five Australian men (2.1 million) will experience at least one mental illness in any 12-month period.