When his son was diagnosed with kidney disease, Stephane Etienne decided to try and help others prevent that diagnosis – by riding a motorcycle around the world.

Now almost halfway through that goal, Etienne made a stop in Ottawa on his awareness-raising tour Thursday.

“Nine countries, over 35,000 kilometres . . . It's a long time in the saddle,” he said. “It's very difficult physically, mentally."

Unlike many other rides or runs, Etienne isn’t raising any money. Instead, he said he’s raising awareness of both the disease and organ donation.

Dr. Deborah Zimmerman said kidney disease isn’t as widely known as cancer and heart disease.

"Kidney disease is often silent,” she said. “There's an estimated 2 million people in Canada who have kidney disease and many of them don't even know.”

Ottawa’s Tyler Huneault, himself a kidney transplant recipient nine months ago, came out to meet Etienne with his mother.

“I can swim, I can walk a little bit,” Huneault said. “There's nothing really I can't do."

Etienne has a partner in Aymeric Zito coming along to help spread awareness on social media.

You can become “The Third Rider” and help them spread awareness by visiting their website at worldriderz.com.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Norman Fetterley