After a rigorous radiation cancer treatment, Rob Evans had all the hair follicles on the left-side permanently burned off. Now he has half a moustache to show for it, which he is using to raise awareness about the Movember Foundation.
After discovering a lump in his throat a couple months before his 50th birthday, Evans, now 60, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a head and neck cancer.
“The prognosis was not good,” said Evans.
Evans was due for surgery to remove the lymph nodes in his neck, which he said would have affected the mobility of his left arm in the long run. Instead, Evans received a treatment that had not been done in Victoria before, which involved a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.
“I chose to try it and save my lifestyle.”
But the treatment was extremely hard on Evans.
“At one point, my tongue was burned so badly [from the radiation], that I couldn’t drink water. So I had to come up with a honey extract so that I could get enough fluid in.”
His doctors discovered the cancer was only on one side of his face, so that is where they directed the radiation.
Shortly after, Evans said he realized he didn’t need to shave on the left side of his face, which he said was a bonus.
“But I’m not really the type that gets up every day and shaves every morning,” he said. “So it created kind of an interesting look for me, and I embraced that. I thought it was kind of fun.”
After seven weeks of radiation, Evans was sent home to recover. Three months later he had a test, and was deemed cancer free. That is until a few years later in 2012, when he was diagnosed with an aggressive stage of prostate cancer. Soon after, Evans had surgery to remove his prostate.
It was two months after his prostate cancer surgery that Evans decided to get actively involved in Movember. Movember is a campaign that challenges men to grow moustaches in November to raise money and awareness for prostate and testicular cancers as well as men’s mental health programs.
“At that point I thought, well here I am; I’m the perfect spokesperson for Movember. I’ve gone through prostate cancer,” said Evans. “I thought it would be kind of funny since I only have half a moustache.”
That year, Evans raised over $7,000 by soliciting donations from everyone he knew. This year marks Evans’ third Movember, and he has come up with an alternative fundraising plan. Being the owner of Character Builders in Victoria, Evans decided to donate his time as a carpenter for the month of November. In exchange for free labour, Evans is accepting donations for his Movember campaign.
“What I like about Movember is the levity of it in the face of great devastation. There’s an optimism that I tried to bring to all of this,” said Evans. “You can’t control the outcome, but you can control how you go about dealing with your day-to-day life.”
To donate to Rob Evans’ Movember campaign, visit http://mobro.co/Captainhalfbeard