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Motorcycle riders revved to raise funds for prostate cancer research

The idea is to encourage men to get checked, because early detection usually means you will survive
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Close to 100 motorcycle riders roared through Greater Sudbury on Saturday, participating in the annual Rally for Dad ride to raise funds for prostate cancer research.

"Every year, we get amazing support from our local motorcycle clubs," said Tannys Laughren, executive director, Northern Cancer Foundation.

Riders travelled from the cancer centre to Verner, to Noelville, then back to Sudbury. They gathered at the A&W restaurant on Silver Hills.

It's about awareness and raising funds for prostate cancer, Laughren said.

"We want men to understand that they need to get checked, and that early detection leads to better outcomes," Laughren said. "By holding Rally for Dad close to Father's Day, we're hoping people will hold their fathers close and encourage them to go get checked."

One in nine men is diagnosed with prostate cancer, Laughren said, but the survival rate is very high, because if it's caught early, the outcomes are really positive.

The event usually raised about $30,000 a year, and it all stays local.

Nicole MacDonald has been on the organizing committee of Rally for Dad for 15 years. Her father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1992, so the event itself is near and dear to her heart. 

"My dad had radical surgery and beat that cancer," she said. "Then, about 12 years later, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, which he pulled through again, and then in 2007, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Prostate cancer being the first cancer he fought, that's what he passed away from. I still miss him."

If it hadn't been for the Northeast Cancer Centre, MacDonald said she's not sure her dad would have lived as long as he did.

"They have wonderful research and treatment here," she said. "My dad was elderly, so he didn't have to travel very far, and that in and of itself made it much easier."

MacDonald first rode a motorcycle in 1974, and it's been a passion ever since. 

"You can talk to anyone of the participants here, and they either have had or are fighting prostate cancer, or they know someone who has had it," MacDonald said. "This event is close to their hearts, too, and that's why they come back year after year. They believe in this cause."



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