Today is the 1st of November.

An ordinary day for most but a special day for many.

Why? Because today marks the beginning of Movember.

You may have noticed that facial hair has been in vogue for quite a while with the shops on the high-street full of clothes and accessories emblazoned with cheeky moustache motifs and hipsters across the world battling it out to grow the bushiest beard possible.

For lots of people, Movember is a bit of fun and the amount of guys taking part each year is an amazing testament to the reach of the cause.

Because like Christmas, Movember has a deeper underlying meaning than just a bit of fun and games. It's a chance to spread awareness about men's health issues (click here to read a bit more about them) and hopefully save some lives in the process.

When you think about gender stereotypes and sexism, women's issues often spring to mind. But men are affected by them too and it has a deep, lasting impact on their wellbeing. We are so often told that crying is for little girls and that men must be big and strong.

If a man feels alone and depressed, he might feel like he can't show it. If a man feels weak and vulnerable, he might feel like less of a man. And if a man notices his health deteriorating or finds a lump, he might feel reluctant to seek help because that's not what we've been told men do.

Whilst depression is officially much higher in women, male suicides hugely outnumber female suicides. Rates of depression are subject to bias; the depression needs to be detected and reported in order to feed the statistics. Furthermore, if depression is reported, it is more likely to be treated.

Suicides are much harder to hide. It strikes me as incredibly worrying that the male suicide rate is 3 and a half times higher than that of women.

Likewise, cancer is best treated when it is detected early on. The number of men and women with cancer is fairly similar yet men are much more likely to die from the disease. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and programmes exist to screen women from high risk groups for signs of tumours. A similar programme does not yet exist for men and prostate cancer is the largest killer in this group, a group that is less likely to be diagnosed early, possibly due to reluctance to seek medical advice (click here to read more).

But this is why Movember is so brilliant.

And that is why I am so proud of Magro. Whose name is actually Michele (Me-KEL-eh not Me-SHELL) as will be revealed if you go to his Movember page (click here)

Michele works in an oncological hospital. Despite having lost some of the most important people in his life to cancer, he spends his weeks surrounded by those currently suffering from it, working so, so hard to give people with the disease a better chance at life. He is passionate and hard-working, despite the inevitable ups and downs that come with his job. One day might bring a patient who gets to go home. Another might mean saying the final goodbye to a teenager who had become a good friend during his time on the wards.

I don't know how he does it. I feel that if I were in his shoes, I would want to distance myself from cancer as much as possible. But he doesn't and I am so proud of who he is for that.

I am also incredibly proud of him for taking the tremendous first step of Movember and sacrificing his great big bushy beard. He was incredibly fond of that beard. It has been with him at varying lengths for over a decade. Not once has he ever gone fully clean shaven. He's doing his part, please do yours. We are all human, we should all care for and help each other.

If you've got some spare money, even a few pounds, please donate. Your money will contribute to saving lives. Michele's page is here and it would mean a lot if you donated whatever amount you are willing to give.

You can also register online as a Mo Bro or a Mo Sista but the important thing is to just keep the message going! Talk to the guys in your life, encourage them to grow a 'tache and just keep spreading the word.