On June 4, 2016, over 2,000 riders took to the road to support Prostate Cancer awareness and to help generate funds for research in Telus’ Ride For Dad.
For the first time that annual Ride, which originates in Ottawa, included Morrisburg and a check point in Iroquois at the Locks, on its route.
Since then, the Ride has had a positive effect locally, according to Doug Nugent, a member of the Prostate Cancer Awareness Committee, the Black Walnut Support Group and himself a cancer survivor.
“We held a Prostate Cancer Awareness Event on Saturday, August 6, at Winchester District Memorial Hospital,” Nugent said. “The event included a free PSA test.
Between 8-10 a.m., we had 119 men show up and opt to take the test. That doubles our numbers from last year, and we are incredibly pleased.”
This was the second such event organized locally: the hospital was busy for the whole two hours.
Over 24 medical personnel, support groups and community members volunteered their time to the Awareness Event. Winchester District Hospital also donated the rooms, and the labs needed for the testing.
“We had big sponsorship from Ride for Dad,” Nugent explained. “Another big supporter was the Nation Valley ATV Club, and members of the Black Walnut Support group also came out to help us. The nurses at Winchester volunteered their services. It was just a great day.”
Once the results of the tests given on August 6 are processed, Drs. De Jesus and Morash read the results and send the information to the man’s family doctor. The doctor then contacts his patient.
“It’s vital to get men to talk about and to be aware of the PSA test,” Nugent said. “Men should ideally start getting tested around age 40, to establish a base line. Prostate cancer is very treatable, with a 95 per cent cure rate if it is caught early. Men need to take control of their own health.”
Many men coming to the Awareness Event were accompanied by wives. “Women may be pushing some men into getting tested, but again, “ Nugent laughed, “that’s a good thing.”