Vroom vroom! Manitoba Motorcycle Ride for Dad raises $300K for prostate cancer research

Engines revved in southern Manitoba on Saturday in support of prostate cancer research and awareness.

The Manitoba Motorcycle Ride for Dad returned as a single-day group ride for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with over 1,000 motorcyclists participating, organizers said.

The riders gathered at Polo Park shopping centre in Winnipeg on Saturday morning before hitting the road to Selkirk, Gimli and then back to Winnipeg.

Organizers say almost $300,000 was raised this year. Since the ride was founded 14 years ago, riders have raised more than $3.1 million for the cause.

Spokesperson Ed Johner says the day exceeded his expectations.

“I’ve had such a big smile on my face for the last three days. It’s unbelievable. I’m so happy to see people that I haven’t been able to see for the last couple of years and we’ve come back with a vengeance,” he said.

More than 1,000 people took part in the Manitoba Motorcycle Ride for Dad on Saturday. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

The sheer amount of money raised by the participants for prostate cancer research means a lot to Johner, who was diagnosed with prostate and kidney cancer in 2007.

“Because of early detection, both were treated successfully. Ninety per cent of all prostate cancer cases that are detected early are treated successfully, so I’m very fortunate in that respect,” he said.

Clarence O’Brien helped marshal the ride. He also took part in the ride for a personal reason.

“I’m also a prostate cancer survivor. I had my surgery in 2017,” he said. “So this ride is real for me.”

Clarence O’Brien, a prostate cancer survivor, said the Manitoba Motorcycle Ride for Dad hits close to home. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Maurice Sabourin, the president of the Winnipeg Police Association and the co-chair of the Ride for Dad, said the main message of the ride is for people to get their prostates checked.

“There’s a lot of men that are dying from prostate cancer that don’t even know that they have it, or … it hasn’t been detected early enough,” he said.

“So that’s our mission, is get people to be aware of prostate cancer. Get checked.”

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