This is my fifth year being a part of the Motorcycle Ride for Dad, a national event that raises money for prostate cancer research and awareness.
The buzz at the starting line-up is indescribable. It’s where chrome meets leather and where rubber meets the pavement. There are so many familiar faces and everyone is pumped about raising money for this important cause. Every single rider has a story to tell. Either they know someone who has been touched by prostate cancer or they have fought the battle themselves, and thankfully, won.
I’ve been an avid rider for over 20 years now, so being part of the ride was a no-brainer for me. This event brings to together my deep passion for motorcycles and my strong interest in prostate cancer prevention and awareness. I can’t help but ride for the cause! It’s how I give where I live.
Most people may not know that prostate is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of death from cancer in Canadian men. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, one in seven men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime. We need to do something about this.
For me, I consider myself blessed that none of my loved ones have been affected by this disease. Part of the reason why I ride is to help ensure that they never are. Being a father really makes you think about what you are contributing to our planet. I want to be here for my son for as long as I possibly can. I know that I have an active role to play in my own health and well-being.
So far, I’ve personally raised $10,000 for the cause and I’m pretty proud of this accomplishment. But there’s still work to be done. Each year, I serve as a TELUS ride captain for the TELUS Care team in Ottawa, and I do what I can to help rally participation and organize ride-day events. In just three years, this small Ottawa team has managed to raise over $27,000 together.
For the third year, TELUS is the title sponsor of the ride. I feel so fortunate to be part of a company that supports me as an employee, and is contributing to the health of my community. TELUS has also partnered with the Ottawa Hospital Foundation to run a free prostate-specific antigen clinic which offers a simple blood test to help detect prostate cancer. Over the past two years, the clinic has provided free prostate cancer screening to more than 500 men. We’re saving lives and that’s pretty amazing.
I really want to get the word out about the importance of men having regular check-ups to ensure their prostate health. There is research that shows that 90 per cent of prostate cancer cases can be successfully treated with early detection and that’s why raising awareness about this disease is mission critical. We need to spread the word to our fathers, brothers, husbands and sons.
My word of advice to other men is to get an annual check-up with your doctor to identify any potential issues with your prostate. It’s so easily detected and the spread of this disease can be prevented. As men, we need to take more active roles in our own healthcare.
So, get checked guys! It could just save your life.
Luiz Da Silva, is a TELUS client service manager based in Ottawa.
The Motorcycle Ride for Dad has raised more than $10 million toward prostate cancer research and awareness since it first started in 2000. All net proceeds from Ride for Dad initiatives are donated to the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation. It’s not too late to be part of the rides as they are still taking place between now and June 22 in 30 major cities across Canada.
Share photos on how you #givewherewelive at www.givewherewelive.ca.