Dave Coleman, Men’s Health, Movember, and a Request

Last week the SharePoint community lost a valuable member and I lost a friend. Dave Coleman, who had been in and out of hospital since last year about this time, finally succumbed to cancer. Dave was a SharePoint Server MVP, active community member, and educator. He was also a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. Many people will miss him, and I am one.

Dave Coleman

Dave Coleman 1959-2014

One of Dave’s many legacies will be his work to raise awareness of the types of cancer which first struck him, namely prostate cancer. In the video blow, Dave elucidates on his goals very clearly. Even while staring directly at his own mortality, Dave wanted to spend some of his time to make all of the men in his life and beyond more aware of how to prevent – as much as possible – them arriving in a similar plight.

Dave Coleman, Claire Smyth – 05 February 2014 15.36.21 (Original link)

In honor of Dave, I’m participating in the annual Movember movement. The goal of the Movember movement is not just to have millions of men grow cheesy 1970s era moustaches – aka ‘Mo’s – but to raise awareness and fund research about men’s health issues. It’s about the diseases like prostate cancer that can only strike men. The women’s health movement has been incredibly strong in recent years, with pink pervasive during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Movember is not meant to detract or compete with NBCAW, but to build a similar platform for men’s health. I’ve committed my upper lip to help change the face of men’s health by growing a moustache, now I need your support.

Many cancers and other male-specific diseases are highly treatable in this day and age, but we men are too often reticent about seeking out regular health care. I know that there have been wide swaths of my life when it seemed to me that regular checkups were just too much trouble. I felt fine and didn’t see the point. Once I got married and had a son, I started to think differently about these things – there are people who love me and need me around, and I want to be here for them. I am not as invincible as I thought I was in my 20s. Annual checkups with appropriate testing based on family history, physical condition, and lifestyle can help prevent others from being taken from us too soon, as was Dave.

If you are at risk for any reason whatsoever – and even if you’re not sure that you are – take the time to make those annual checkup appointments and go to them.

Dave was a mere 54 years old at his death – just one year older than I am now. Age isn’t the only factor in the likelihood of contracting cancer or any other disease, though. As Dave said so well in the video, we should take control of our own destinies and be sure that we understand our health and the risks each of us might have.

If any of this strikes a chord with you at all, please donate to my Movember campaign or that of anyone else on the In Memory of Dave Coleman (This is a network dedicated to Dave Coleman – a bloody nice chap.) network. We’re growing bad facial hair for you, for all men, for the women and children who love us, but most importantly, for Dave.

If you’d rather donate in Dave’s memory via the site his family has set up, by all means do that instead.

However you choose to memorialize Dave, or even if you never knew Dave, please donate to the men’s health movement this month, and if you’re a man, make that MEDICAL APPOINTMENT. We need you around here.