Patrick Walker FaceTime’s with his grandfather in England while his father, Marc is on stage Photo by Sydney Morton

Kelowna family rallies support for prostate cancer

More than 150 people gathered in Kelowna for the annual Ride for Dad

The Okanagan Ride for Dad drew hundreds of leather-clad motorcycle riders out in the name of prostate cancer, and was even broadcast all the way to England, thanks to the power of FaceTime.

“I ride for him today, he is a cancer fighter right now,” said Marc Walker, of his father. Sporting the commemorative pin he’ll send to his father in England with his son Patrick when he travels there next month.

The Walker family was determined to ensure their patriarch overseas was able to see what the people of the Okanagan are doing to support the fight against prostate cancer.

“He was supposed to be here,” Walker said, as Patrick turned the phone to show his grandfather the bikes and the crowd assembled in his honour. “He would have loved to be here, he used to ride bikes himself.”

As the speeches were made spreading support, awareness and a message of brotherhood, Patrick held his phone high so his grandfather could be a part of the event.

Related:Schoolmates welcome home Penticton boy fighting cancer

We are a tight family,” Marc continued. “They say (prostate cancer) just affects men. It doesn’t, it affects everyone. When men get prostate cancer it affects the whole family.”

Related: Concert proceeds help fight cancer

Sally Walker, Marc’s wife said the family came out because riding motorcycles is something they do regularly, and they wanted to contribute to raising both money and awareness around the disease.

“All of a sudden it has become a part of our lives because people that we are friends with, it’s happening to them,” she said, of more and more people in their community being diagnosed.

Related:UBCO research shows benefit of financial support in breast cancer survivors

Among males in Canada, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death, behind lung and colorectal cancers according to Statistics Canada.

The family honoured their patriarch along with the other men in their lives affected by prostate cancer with a message to all men out there to routinely get checked.

The Okanagan Ride for Dad presented the B.C. Cancer Foundation a $42,855 cheque for prostate cancer research in the Okanagan.

For more information visit their website, ridefordad.ca/okanagan

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