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Ride for Dad hits the road in Kingston to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer research

One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and hundreds of bikers joined the fight in Kingston at the annual Ride for Dad on Saturday, hoping to help find a cure.

After his father died from complications from the disease, and with his brother in remission, it is a cause that hits close to home for motorcyclist Mark Harding. 

"It’s very debilitating. I saw my brother, 6 ft. 2 inches whittle away to about 170 pounds," Harding says. "And to watch him whittle away like that was hard to take."

The Canadian Cancer Society says prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. One in eight men will be diagnosed in their lifetime, and those who have a family history are among the most at risk.

Harding says it is about preventing other families from going through the same thing.

"Prostate cancer touches everyone; whether it’s a friend, a brother."

The Ride for Dad events take place across Canada. It first started in Ottawa back in 2000. 

Kingston was the second city to host a Ride for Dad, and it has raised more than $1.6 million since it started back in 2004.

The tens of thousands raised on Saturday will add to the more than $37 million the Ride for Dad events have raised for prostate cancer research in Canada.

Linda Galloway, the national project specialist for Ride for Dad, says it’s also about awareness and having men get checked. 

"Early detection is key in survival," she explains. "It’s so important we’re not in a corner talking quietly about prostate cancer; we need to be shouting it from the rooftops."

Rider Trevor Hughes agrees, noting his father-in-law is a survivor. 

"Talk to anybody, talk to your wife, especially talk to your doctor," he says. 

This is the third province he has joined a Ride for Dad event. The kilometres raced today through downtown Kingston and up past Westport will add to those he’s ridden over the years to raise money.

He says it is also about joining fellow riders in the fight.

"I love it," he says. "I love to ride and you meet excellent people on this ride." Top Stories

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