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Movember campaign hits home to local participants

TRURO - It's that time of year again when some men decide to put down their razors to talk about cancer and mental health.

Truro's Al Bégin, left, and Adam Wyllie are two of the five Mo Bros on the Rotary Club of Truro's Movember team. They are growing out mustaches for the month in support of prostate and testicular cancer awareness, as well as men's mental health.

Richard Bowness is once again letting the hair grow above his upper lip to support Movember, a movement that brings light to prostate and testicular cancer, as well as men's mental health.

"On a personal note, I participated for the first time last year," he said. "I had an encounter with cancer so it was very near and dear to my heart. At the time, I was in recovery mode and it gave me something to focus on."

Bowness was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2012, and his quarterly tests have been coming back clean since his treatments.

"Movember had caught my attention, I had heard about it and understood the general premise behind it, but the more I looked into it, the more I realized how neatly it fit with my situation and my ideals."

With his association with the Rotary Club of Truro, Bowness organized a team of Mo Bros last year.

His team this time around consists of Al Bégin, Mark Mason, Adam Wyllie and Jim Gould, and they are once again known as the Rotary Club of Truro.

"As much as it raises money, it raises awareness," Bowness said, adding the group doesn't have a financial goal. "It's to get the word out so people will do what they can to get that (diagnosis caught) early. We all joke about colonoscopies, but it's very serious. Had I had an earlier detection, it would have had a far less of an impact on me."

If people are going to take away one thing from Bowness's participation in the worldwide movement, he's hoping that it will be to get tested early and often.

He was screened 11 years prior to his diagnosis, but was given no indication then that he would need to get it done again.

"Had I been screened more frequently, they would've caught it sooner," he said.

Coincidentally, Bowness said his diagnosis came around the time when a home screening kit was received at his home.

He admits it was too late by then, however, he has heard good things about the kits after talking with health officials in Halifax during his treatment.

"They said they are getting far more at earlier stages than they had before, and my take on that is don't let it sit on the dresser. It's not as good as a colonoscopy, but it can be an early marker, so don't delay."

Progress on the Rotary Club of Truro's team can be found online at Donations can also be made online to the team or to the individual team members.

The Truro Daily News is hoping to have weekly progress updates from each of the members.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa


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