Nearly 800 men on Vancouver Island will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. More than 100 of them won’t survive the disease.
Those sobering statistics are what compelled all of Greater Victoria’s motorcycle retailers to join forces this year for the third annual Westcoast Motorcycle Ride to Live on June 25.
The Langford-to-Sidney ride raises money for prostate cancer research and donates to the B.C. Cancer Agency, University of Victoria and the Victoria-based Prostate Centre.
“I had no idea prostate cancer would just sneak up on me like it did,” said Bill Jackson, a cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 2010 and is now in recession.
“I’ve started eating better, walking, exercising every day, I do more than I did before,” he said.
Jackson was part of a team of volunteers at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena kicking off Ride to Live’s fundraising efforts Friday afternoon.
Organizers hope to get 1,000 participants for the Langford-to-Sidney ride, and add to the $250,000 it has raised so far for local prostate cancer research, education and awareness.
Rider Michael Turgeon lost his grandfather to prostate cancer and has watched his father fight the disease for 20 years.
“My dad’s going on 82 and continues to live a healthy life,” Turgeon said. “I’m riding for him.”
Turgeon’s band, The Weeds, is hosting a fundraiser for Ride to Live at the Tudor House pub, 533 Admirals Rd., on June 15.
“We know from our research that if you are detected with cancer early, your change of beating the odds is dramatically increased,” said Dr. Julian Lum, a scientist with the B.C. Cancer Agency.
“We really want to encourage any men over the age of 40 to have their annual test done.”
To learn more about Ride to Live and its donor recipients, visit vi-ridetolive.ca.