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Ride for Dad set for June 17

Pierre Garneau at the head of the pack when it comes to raising money for prostate cancer research
Pierre Garneau collects Ride for Dad donations at Fonthill Sobeys. / FILE

If you are cruising the Niagara Parkway on Saturday, June 17, expect to see and hear dozens of motorcycles. Retired airline pilot Pierre Garneau, of Fonthill, will be in the midst of them, astride his Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster.

The bikers will be taking part in the annual Ride for Dad, an event which raises money for prostate cancer research and awareness.

Garneau raised $14,445 for the 2022 ride, and has already raised about $850 for 2023. He has tallied $80,175 for prostate cancer research since he commenced his charity rides a dozen years ago, making him one of the top fundraisers for the cause.

“I’m hoping for another good year,” he said.

The Ride for Dad route starts at the Royal Canadian Legion in Niagara-on-the-Lake, heads south on the Niagara Parkway, and then loops through rural parts of the region, covering a bit under 200 kilometres.

The Niagara Chapter has raised over $600,000 since its inception, and 24 local community rides across the country have brought in some $40 million in total.

Prostate cancer is the fourth most common cancer in Canada, and the top-ranking cancer for men, with one in nine diagnosed with the disease in his lifetime. Over 20,000 Canadian men are diagnosed annually.

The Ride for Dad against prostate cancer has been helping to save men's lives through early detection and support of innovative medical research to improve the quality of life for men and their families.

The work of Dr. Theos Tsakiridis has been supported by Ride for Dad for years. A medical researcher at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, who also works with Niagara Health in the area of radiation oncology, Tsakiridis established a biomarker study which points to modern positron emission tomography (PET) scans — imaging tests that can help reveal the metabolic or biochemical function of tissues and organs — as a valuable avenue for assessing prostate cancer patients. One of the treatments for prostate cancer Tsakiridis has been involved with is SABR (Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy) which significantly reduces the number of radiation treatments men need as part of their recovery.

“Simply put, we have found prostate cancer markers that have the potential to predict a man’s prostate cancer future. To know if our preliminary results are correct, we need to move to the second phase, where we look at a larger number of prostate cancer survivors. This is all work enabled by the Ride for Dad,” wrote Tsakiridis on the organization’s website.

Garneau will have a table at the entrance to the Fonthill Sobeys at various times leading up to the event on June 17.

Those interested in donating to the cause can contact Garneau at 289-241-9770. The program’s national website is


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Don Rickers

About the Author: Don Rickers

A life-long Niagara resident, Don Rickers worked for 35 years in university and private school education. He segued into journalism in his retirement with the Voice of Pelham, and now PelhamToday
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