Ride for Dad gears up to crack $1M in prostate cancer funding

Manitoba's Motorcycle Ride for Dad is revving up for their annual fundraiser ride with 1,500 people registered.
In its 7th year, the ride has 1,500 people registered and they're aiming to raise $350,000, which will put the seven-year total over $1 million. 1:01

They rev the engines and the hogs peel out, the motorcycles that is. 

Moe Sabourin is gearing up for Manitoba's Motorcycle Ride for Dad, a fundraising ride for prostate cancer research and education. 

Sabourin, one of the founding members, started the Manitoba offshoot of the fundraiser seven years ago. 

He was inspired to get involved when his good friend and neighbour was diagnosed with prostate cancer the year before. Fortunately, his friend survived and is now the spokesperson for Manitoba's Ride for Dad. 

Sabourin got the idea from a pamphlet that came across his desk at his Winnipeg Police Association office. 
In Canada in 2014, it is estimated that 4,000 men died from prostate cancer, according to Prostate Cancer Canada statistics. Ride for Dad proceeds go towards research and education. (Sarah Lawrynuik/CBC)

"I checked into it, put a few people together and seven years later we're bigger and better than anything you can imagine," Sabourin told CBC's Trevor Dineen on Information Radio

From the beginning the ride was an overwhelming success, he said, in year one they had 400 people registered and they raised $70,000.

This year they have 1,500 people registered and are aiming for $350,000, which will put the seven-year total over $1 million.

Men's health

In 2014, 23,600 Canadian men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 4,000 died, according to Prostate Cancer Canada. 

Sabourin thinks that prostate cancer is such an important cause because many men still have such difficulty talking about their health or making doctors appointments on a regular basis. The cancer is treatable if it is caught in the early stages. 

"A few minutes can save your life," he said Thursday.

Sabourin said all proceeds from the ride come back to Manitoba for education, awareness and research efforts, including funding some of Dr. Sabine Mai's research at Winnipeg's Genomic Centre for Cancer Research and Diagnosis. 

The ride

On May 30, the motorcycles take off from Polo Park and ride to the Assiniboia Downs with a police escort. The group will then tour around Selkirk, Gimli and Lockport before heading back to the Windsor Park Canad Inns location for prizes. 

"The bikes pretty much take over the whole town. The streets are just lined. But you know, the people are really good people. They gather the pledges and that's where most of the money is raised," Sabourin said. 

​And a ride for Trevor

CBC's Trevor Dineen wanted to be sure that Sabourin and Kirk Van Alstyne were ready for the upcoming ride, so he hitched a ride in Sabourin's sidecar.