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Why I support Movember: Maury's story

For Maury Simoneau, Movember always starts even before the month of November comes around. It is when he goes around sporting his “pre-season” moustache – the perfect conversation-starter, as he calls it. 

“When people ask me why I have that moustache, it’s a great way of getting into the topic of Movember, of raising awareness around men’s health,” he says. “It helps that I always like growing a sweet ‘stache’...” 

Maury, Operations NPI Manager at our Jansen Project, has been an avid Movember supporter and campaigner for the last 14 years, driven by a personal cause. His father had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 and, more recently, his older brother as well, who continues to battle the disease.  

Last year, Maury raised A$8,000 for Movember through his individual campaign, while leading Team Jansen to top the BHP Movember team leaderboard with A$79,000 in donations. One of the team’s fundraising highlights was the friendly hockey charity match, ‘The Movember Classic’, between BHP Team Jansen Integrated Project Team (IPT) and Team Jansen Contractors in the town of LeRoy in Saskatchewan, Canada. 

Read about Maury’s story and why it is so important for him to help build Mo-mentum around the Movember movement. 

What does Movember mean to you? 

When my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Movember became the avenue for me to show my support for him and others battling the disease. We were lucky he was able to detect his cancer early and ultimately beat it. Unfortunately, my brother detected his late and is in the fight of his life with Stage 4 prostate cancer currently. This is why I Mo every year – to support my brother and best friend. This year I have a fresh and fun personal campaign thought out which I cannot wait to execute! It’s going to be awesome. 

I think many of us don’t take our health as seriously as we should. A lot of men don’t like going to the doctors or reaching out for help. For me, Movember is about having the courage to talk about these “difficult” topics with my buddies, my co-workers, and starting conversations with others around what they can do to stay on top of their health.  

You’re well-known in the Potash team for being the driving force behind Movember. What’s in the works for this year? 

Mo-numental events and top-secret stuff – we can’t show all our cards this early in the game! 

In all seriousness, Jansen’s Movember campaign will include staple events (‘Hot Shave Off to Kick Off’, ‘Mini Miner’s Marathons’ and others), events to ensure all our Mo-sisters have easy pathways to take up the cause and be part of the effort, and the highly anticipated 5th Annual Movember Classic Hockey Game. It’s a great event that will bring everyone together in the spirit of men’s mental and physical health. 

I’m very lucky to be able to get behind such meaningful initiatives, working with such a great group and for BHP. 

How do you take care of yourself and those around you, either physically or mentally?  

With four kids at home (three of which are boys), I do my best to try and reinforce the importance of keeping our mental and physical health as priorities. I try to lead by example and show my kids it’s important to have the courage and confidence to speak up if they’re not feeling 100% – that they can seek the help they need and make sure they aren’t carrying a burden because of not being able to talk about the difficult things. It’s ok to not be ok. The road to feeling and getting better starts with the ability to speak to those whom you know will listen and to seek professional help when required. 

I also try to tell everyone around me, men and women both, that the month formerly known as November is a great reminder for us to book our annual check-ups. Early diagnoses can help and considerably improve the outlook for anyone diagnosed with cancer. 

What’s one thing you’d like to tell all men out there? 

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be kind, be vulnerable, and approach life with humility to leave lasting impressions on those closest to you and all those you interact with. Have fun and play safe. Life is a gift and each day we have is a blessing.