It’s hoped as many as 150 riders will hit the road June 16 for a motorcycle circuit to draw awareness and raise funds for brain cancer research.
Dr. Paul Poirier, a Cornwall chiropractor who is battling the terrible disease, is returning with the third edition of the popular fundraiser: Bikers Against Brain Cancer.
The ride has grown from humble beginnings. In 2010 55 riders took to the highways to benefit brain cancer research. Last year the number ballooned to more than 100 and Poirier would like to see 150 for the upcoming edition of the ride.
Despite the devastating impact a brain cancer diagnosis can have on people and families, Poirier said it still flies under the radar of many unfamiliar with the disease.
“Unfortunately it’s not one of the mainstream conditions,” said Poirier, suggesting more press is afforded cancers of the prostate and breast. “And also, unfortunately, (brain cancer rates) are going up each year.”
Poirier is battling a terminal form of the disease that will one day end his life.
But while he is still here, Poirier plans to do as much as he can to battle the disease.
In addition to the ride, Bikers Against Brain Cancer is hosting a dinner at Au Vieux Duluth on Wednesday June 13 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The dinner acts as a fundraiser for brain cancer research.
Hugo Girard, the six-time Canadian strongman competition winner, has agreed to attend the dinner.
And next year Poirier wants to do a cross-Canada ride to collect funds and raise awareness for cancer patients.
The 15-city tour will begin in the east coast next July, provided his health remains stable.
Poirier also suggested the time is right to create his own cancer foundation.
“I’m a bit of a control freak,” he said. “I want to make sure as much of the money we raise, goes towards research and the areas we need help.
“There’s a lot of money that gets raised that goes towards salaries instead of the research itself.”
Bikers Against Brain Cancer will begin at Poirier’s Pitt Street office (11 a.m.) and wind its way through Lancaster, Alexandria and St. Albert before returning to the city. A pancake breakfast will kick off the event (9 a.m.). A barbecue will conclude things.
If it is raining Saturday, the event will take place Sunday.
For more information, visit bikersagainstbraincancer.org.