Bob Charron knows full well the ravages of cancer.
He has lost a father, brother and friends to prostate cancer and is himself a survivor.
Charron is also the co-chair of the Motorcycle Ride for Dad Okanagan which has raised approximately $930,000 for prostate cancer research and awareness over the past 14 years.
He and several colleagues presented a $100,000 check to the BC Cancer Foundation in Kelowna May 17.
“Last year was our biggest year ever…and this is our kick-off, big-time awareness, to this year’s event,” he said.
Charron counts himself lucky, as his cancer was discovered early and treated by Dr. Juanita Crook, who was on hand for the presentation.
“We can beat this, but we need everybody’s help,” added Charron.
Dr. Crook, professor of radiation oncology at BC Cancer Kelowna and research chair for the brachytherapy program, said the donation is huge.
“When you have donor support like this it allows you to be more creative, do more research…and improve treatment.”
Brachytherapy treats from the inside out by putting radiation directly into the cancer, giving a much higher dose without having to travel through the rest of the body, according to Dr. Crook.
BC Cancer Kelowna is the only centre in the province currently providing brachytherapy treatment.
“We’ve treated over 400 men with that treatment here in Kelowna,” said Pardeep Krohd, executive director of BC Cancer Foundation Interior and North. “That was funded by donor dollars and all 400 men have no indication of disease. It’s very successful I would say.”
Charron said he believes not enough men are getting checked early, and encourage them to get tested every one to two years.
“Cancer will touch one-in-three Canadians directly or indirectly and the only we can beat this, and it is beatable, is by being proactive in our health and we’re a small part of that.”
The Ride for Dad started in 1999 and has 22 chapters across Canada. The 2023 Ride for Dad Okanagan takes place June 11.