Ride for Dad roars through Kingston, Napanee

The roar of engines could be heard throughout the city of Kingston Saturday, as bikers hit the road, racing out to “Ride for Dad”, raising money and awareness for prostate cancer research.

It’s something David Bailey knows all about, having been diagnosed in 2017.

He says his life changed on a cross-Canada motorcycle trip, using the very motorcycle he uses today.

“I was on a big trip out west, when I returned I thought, this isn’t quite right,” he explains.

He says he visited his doctor, and after a blood test, was told the news.

“Within three weeks, I had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It came out of nowhere, very suddenly.”

He is cancer-free today and rides his motorcycle to raise money for cancer research because some of his friends have not been so lucky.

“That’s why I take part in this,” he says. “I’m a big believer in the research and the work that goes on in Kingston for this.”

The event has been going on in cities across Canada since 2000, after first launching in Ottawa that year.

Kingston was the second city to host it in 2004 and on its own has raised $1.5 million throughout the years.

On Saturday, more than 250 drivers paraded, waved flags, and honked their horns, driving from downtown Kingston to Napanee and back.

The Canadian Cancer Society says prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men but if caught early there is a strong survival rate. Organizer Marion Perry says the event promotes awareness.

“Men in their 50s should be getting checked. That is the main message that we’re putting out there,” she explains. ”If I knew then what I know now, about this disease, and it’s a silent disease, I might have saved my dad.”

Perry lost her own father to the disease in 1996. He died one week after being diagnosed because she says he didn’t know to get checked.

“Every day, 63 men are diagnosed and 11 men die from this disease. So we’ve got a lot of work to do,” she says.

The charity has raised more than $35 million since it started.

Putting the pedal to the metal, Bailey says that money has saved lives.

“We’re here for one cause, and I think that help keeps us all together,” he says. 

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