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Ride For Dad looks to open up conversations about the early detection of prostate cancer

The Ottawa fundraising and awareness ride is hoping to have over 1000 participants this year

Is there anything as frightening as a diagnosis of cancer?

Cancer is a subject that many people would rather avoid. Unfortunately, few subjects make men more uncomfortable than prostate cancer.  

The Ride For Dad and its charitable arm, the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation, have a mission to save men's lives by funding prostate cancer research and raising awareness about the disease across Canada. Demystifying prostate cancer and empowering men to take control of their prostate health, is done by including a simple blood test called the PSA , as part of their annual physical.

“Men normally don't like to talk about their health, and especially below their belts” says the Ottawa Motorcycle Ride for Dad's co-chair Tina Gibson.

“Consequently, sometimes men wait until it's too late. It's a shame, because with early detection, prostate cancer has a high survival rate. Along with their passionate volunteers, the Ottawa Motorcycle Ride For Dad committee is committed to spreading the word about Prostate Cancer Prevention and how having a simple blood test could save a life.  Prostate cancer may be a male disease but it affects the whole family. Women can play a vital role by advocating for the men in their lives to have their blood work done once they reach the age of 40. . When caught early, the 5-year survival rate is 93%.  It can be a different story when detected late..”

“We're making the message simple,” says Gibson. “Get the PSA blood test every year. It's a good tool for early diagnosis.”

The first Ride For Dad was started by Garry Janz and Byron Smith, after learning of Garry's friend who was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and subsequently passed away. 

Garry’s friend told him that if he had known about the PSA test the year before, he would not have been planning his own funeral a year later. This inspired Garry to do something, and the very first Motorcycle Ride For Dad took place in Ottawa in 2000 consisting of  approx 80 riders and raising roughly $20,000. Together, Garry & Byron created a Ride making some noise and drawing attention to this treatable and preventable disease.  Prostate cancer research wasn't really top of mind at that time but Garry and Byron gathered support from friends and found a creative way to spread the word and have fun .

Since its inception in 2000, the annual motorcycle event has grown Nationwide with Rides across the country, raising more than $37 Million to date for prostate cancer research and awareness, with $7 Million raised right here in Ottawa.

Riders and supporters from the Ottawa region will come together to take part in the first in-person ride in two years on Saturday, June 4, 2022.    

After 2 years of riding alone or in small groups, the Motorcycle Ride for Dad is so exciting to be back doing a Group Poker Ride. This year, the ride departs from a new location  at 373 Legget Drive in Kanata and includes stops in Almonte, Smiths Falls, Spencerville, wrapping up at the final destination, in Winchester.

 “We haven't been able to do group rides since 2019 because of Covid-19 restrictions,” Gibson explains. “We're hoping to sign up more than 1,000 participants for this year's ride, hopefully more!  We know that a lot of riders are anxious to be back on the roads again and to participate in this charity ride they've enjoyed for many years.”

Early Registration is $40 and $50 on Ride day.

For more information on early registration dates and locations or to register or donate, visit Ride For Dad online.


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