Boston ‘Mo Bros’ take on Movember

Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro

Movember’s manly men and the women that love them are five days and a few prickly millimeters into the month-long moustache-growing holiday, which raises funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancers, as well as men’s mental health issues.

Two-time testicular cancer survivor Eric Stout, 33, is a member and organizer of the local “BellissiMo” team, which is comprised of 146 members from the Harvard Hospitals Network.

Team BellissiMo is ranked as the seventh Movember team in the nation, and has a goal of raising $150,000. The “mo bros,” as they’re called, have managed to rake in $25,000 in donations since Movember kicked off Saturday.

Stout, an East Boston resident, was first diagnosed with testicular cancer in May 2010, at age 28, and suffered a recurrence in December 2010. Stout is thrilled to now be cancer-free, but says if he could turn back time, he would have gotten checked out sooner.

“Men kind of ignore their own health,” said Stout, a three-year mo bro. “So one of the major reasons why I’ve stayed as involved as I am is because I want to encourage young guys to advocate for their own health at a really young age.”

One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, according to medical experts. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged 15 to 35 years, and in regard to mental illness, 79 percent of all suicides in the U.S. are men.

Movember U.S. Director Mark Hedstrom, a Leominster native, commended Boston’s role in raising awareness about men’s health.

“Boston has always been a very strong community for us,” said Hedstrom, adding that players from the Boston Bruins, New England Revolution and New England Patriots are joining the Movember effort and growing their moustaches.

And Movember isn’t just a men’s game.

“Women can help in two ways. They can get involved by having conversations and understanding the risks men face. Women are much better about having those conversations. And secondly, women can push their men out the door to seek help when they have a physical or mental health problem,” said Hedstrom.

“They can push them to move, to join them at yoga, cycling or walks. And obviously they can support them in their moustache growing efforts,” said Hedstrom.

To date, the Movember community has raised over $550 million and funded over 800 programs in 21 countries, organizers say.

As for moustache-growing tips, Stout has none.

“My moustache is looking pretty barren. It’ll take a while for me to have anything semi-decent on my face,” said Stout.

Participants can still get involved by visiting. www.movember.com.

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