Movember ambassador proud to promote men’s health issues

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Nic Jovanovic is feeling “blessed and super happy to be alive” after overcoming two bouts of testicular cancer.

The Newcastle-based tradesperson, who starred on reality television series Married at First Sight (MAFS), was first diagnosed with the illness at the age of 24. 

He eventually defeated it, only for the cancer to return between Christmas and New Years in 2018.

A day after the debut of MAFS, Jovanovic underwent surgery to remove his left testicle and endured follow-up chemotherapy in February.

Complications from his initial diagnosis also resulted in him being unable to conceive naturally.

The 28-year-old was open about his cancer battle on the show, which attracted an “overwhelming” response from the public.

“I literally received thousands of messages showing love and appreciation for opening up, but also for talking about it at such a young age,” he told Newcastle Weekly.

“So many people who were suffering thanked me for sharing my story and experiences, which give them some sort of guidance and closure that everything will be okay – you just have to stay strong when it gets tough.

“People were asking for advice and I helped as many as I could who reached out. 

“You can’t let it win – just give cancer the middle finger and stay strong.”

Jovanovic used his newfound celebrity status to sign up for the Movember Foundation’s 2019 campaign as an official Mo-Bro.

Each November, the foundation challenges males from across Australia to grow a moustache to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, nine men die from prostate cancer every day, while there are 20,000 males living with the disease throughout the country.

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men, and though there’s a survival rate of 95%, that still leaves 1 in 20 who will not make it.

Jovanovic said he was thrilled to be involved in this year’s campaign.

“I am so grateful for all the amazing things Movember does – from donating money to research, to helping raise awareness to so many men out there,” he said.

Former Married at First Sight contestant Nic Jovanovic at a Movember Foundation breakfast for Testicular Cancer Awareness Month in April.

“I hope I can keep working with Movember for a long time and can keep on to both Mo Bros and Mo Sistas in staying on top of their health checks, to be vigilant, to speak up and do what’s right.
“If anyone has anything they are concerned with, jump on the Movember website or see your doctor as soon as possible.

“Don’t put anything off with the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude – that needs to change.

“We need men to stop that stigma and to let their guard down and get checks if something doesn’t feel right.”

Apart from cancer, the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows six men take their lives in Australia each day, making it the biggest killer for males under 45.

Jovanovic touched on the impact of reality television on contestants’ mental health.

He believed entering a series meant preparing for “negativity”.

A landmark decision in October deemed Channel Seven liable for the trauma former House Rules villain Nicole Prince experienced both during and after the show, which brought about the possibility of a class action.

Jovanovic said being a contestant was tough, with someone always ready to disagree in what they did or believed.

“But you need to stay true to your values and beliefs,” he said.
“I think enduring something like MAFS is huge and exhausting.

“I understand how people can suffer negatively because you just never know how you will be portrayed and how others will see you.

“It’s a very stressful time waiting for the reaction of the viewers.

“I always stayed true to myself and acted how I normally would.”

Movember participants do not need to grow a moustache – Mo Sistas can also host an event this year to support the charity.

Visit movember.com for more information or to donate.

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