Motorcyclists will parade through Langford Sunday morning with the message that prostate cancer isn’t a sissy disease.
Organizers expect thousands of riders to take part in the fourth annual Vancouver Island Motorcycle Ride For Dad, an event to raise money for prostate cancer research and bring awareness to the importance of annual prostate exams for men.
“Having motorcycle riders do this, it gives the message that if tough guys are out there promoting it, then a husband at home doesn’t need to be ashamed of getting a simple test,” explained Pat Cassels, chair of the ride’s Vancouver Island chapter.
Like many, Cassels has been personally affected by prostate cancer. “My two closest friends died of it,” he said. “We grew up together, we used to be like the three musketeers, so that really hits home.”
But prostate cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Many men who take part in the ride every year are survivors living normal lives, thanks to early detection.
“We’ve got an 80 year-old who rides with us, you’d never know he had cancer,” Cassels said.
Mike Storrier lost his grandfather to prostate cancer. Even through he doesn’t ride a motorcycle, he takes part in the event as a volunteer co-ordinator, and after the ride, will continue the awareness campaign organizing talks for schools and service groups.
“Our mandate of awareness goes throughout the year, it’s not just the ride,” Storrier said. “This is a curable disease if people are aware and know to get checked for it.”
The Ride for Dad leaves Eagle Ridge community centre May 15 at 10 a.m. sharp. Participants can register the day of beginning at 7 a.m.
The parade will run from the Eagle Ridge to Veteran’s Memorial Parkway and north to Western Speedway.
From there, riders will head toward the Trans-Canada Highway for a poker run through the Cowichan Valley to Duncan and back. Closing ceremonies will be held at the Eagle Ridge at 4 p.m.
For more information, visit www.motorcycleridefordad.org.