Annual Motorcycle Ride for Dad looks to break stigma around prostate cancer

Motorcycles roared through the Okanagan Valley for the 11th annual Motorcycle Ride for Dad.

More than 400 motorcyclists rode from Kelowna to Keremeos and back again to raise awareness and funds for research and a cure for prostate cancer.

“We’re carrying on the fight,” said Bob Charron, a founding member of the Okanagan chapter. “Men, believe it or not, are stubborn and we need to change their attitudes… You can almost lead a perfectly normal and healthy life even after having prostate cancer treatments.”

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According to the Canadian Cancer Society, one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Canada has one of the highest survival rates — one in 29 men will die from it.

“I have lost several friends from prostate cancer. Then I found out my father had prostate cancer and he then succumbed to his disease and I also recently lost my brother because he was in the same mindset as my dad,” said Charron.

“I am a prostate cancer patient myself. I was diagnosed three and a half years ago and I am glad to say I am going to beat this thing.”

The leather-clad motorcyclists gathered to share their stories, encourage others to get checked regularly and to show that even tough guys can get cancer.

“They say that 90 per cent of prostate cancer cases are curable if you get it diagnosed in time,” said honorary ride captain Rick Webber. “I think for many years that guys would rather die than get tested. They just didn’t want to know and I think that because of events like these, things have changed and it’s become much more common now — people are catching it.”

Kickstands went up June 9 at 10 a.m. at Banner Recreation & Marine in Kelowna.

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