Some people might think of Movember as men growing a moustache for a laugh, but behind the humour is a more serious concern for raising funds and promoting awareness of men’s health, particularly mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
Torrens Connect has a Health and Wellbeing Committee which actively promotes activities to raise awareness of key issues and to support the health and wellbeing of employees.
This year a group of Torrens Connect employees took part in Movember, promoting issues around men’s health in the Glengowrie depot. The group included representatives from all areas of the organisation: managers, tram operators, maintenance crew, admin staff, and controllers. Collectively, the Movember Team managed to raise $2350.
For tram controller Troy Mansfield, Movember touches on some very personal issues.
Not only did Troy lose one of his best mates to suicide, he also witnessed his father’s long battle with cancer.
“There were some things going on with his health, and they did some further testing,” recalls Troy.
His father was originally diagnosed in 2004 with prostate cancer which was treated successfully with radiotherapy. Four years later, however, his father was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
“Same thing: he noticed some things changing and went and got tested,” says Troy.
After extensive radiotherapy and chemotherapy, doctors eventually discovered another tumour on his father’s oesophagus.
“I watched my Dad go from being, for me, a mountain of a man — he was my hero, he was always the strongest person I knew — to being a frail old man who could be blown over by a small breeze,” says Troy sadly. “That was the hardest thing for me.”
Despite treatment, Troy’s father’s health declined and eventually there was nothing more that could be done. He decided to forgo any further medical treatment and passed away in 2017.
“It’s a hard thing for me to talk about, but I’d rather talk about it,” says Troy, whose message for others is clear:
“If we hadn’t done anything early with it, I would have lost him eight years before. That’s the thing I tell to all my mates. I don’t care how old or young you are: if you’re ill, just go see a doctor,” says Troy passionately. “I’ve already been through all the checks for it because I’ve got kids and I want to be around to watch my kids grow up.”
This was Troy’s second year fundraising for Movember and personally raised $450.
Torrens Connect was proud to be able to promote and support the Movember initiative.