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'Overwhelming' annual Ride for Dad motors through region

'It’s all about saving dads, grandfathers and uncles from prostate cancer,' says event president

The thundering sound of about 250 motorcyclists could be heard Saturday as the annual Huronia Ride for Dad took off from ODAS Park.

The event aims to raise awareness of prostate cancer and money for research.

“Each rider is asked to get $200 in pledges for their chance to win a BMW bike,” said Huronia Ride for Dad president Willy Burnett. “There is never a fundraising goal, but every penny counts in the fight against prostate cancer.”

The local ride has taken place since 2005, and Burnett described the atmosphere this year as “overwhelming.”

“People come out just to see the parade of bikes taking off,” he said. “It’s just phenomenal to see it.”

He says the riders always stop and wave to those who attend the event to support the cause.

“It’s all about saving dads, grandfathers and uncles from prostate cancer,” he said. “One in every three men are diagnosed with it.”

Burnett says the community is becoming more aware a simple blood test could save a man’s life.

“More and more people get involved with this event every year,” he said. “They are scared for their family members.”

Sean O’Neill, a prostate cancer survivor from Ramara, was on hand at Saturday’s event. He was diagnosed at age 48.

“Because I took it upon myself to get my prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tested, my doctor and urologist said we better do a biopsy,” he said.

O’Neill, now 59, tested positive for cancer with a Gleason score of seven. After four years of tests, therapy and radiation, his PSA dropped from 16 to .4. In July, he will walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day.

“Because I got tested, I get to do that,” he said. “I ask you to talk to a dad, a brother, a friend, a husband, a spouse, just one person (and ask) if they have got their PSA tested.”

More information about the Huronia Ride for Dad can be found here. Donations can also be made using that link.


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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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