By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - Some support their favourite charity with a donation. But Cornwall's Bob Kikkert and his son, Tim, will be upping the ante as they ride 12,000 miles across the historic U.S. Route 66 for prostate cancer research.
© Adam Brazeau
Cornwall's Bob Kikkert, 69, will be cruising down historic Route 66 with his son to fight back against prostate cancer, an affliction he knows all too well.
Kikkert, 69, and his 47-year-old son, who lives in Langley, BC with his family, will be travelling from the windy City of Chicago, IL to sun-drenched Santa Monica, CA across one of America's first highways - the so-called Main Street of America, from May 18 until the end of June.
In 2001, Kikkert was diagnosed with the disease. He underwent brachytherapy, a treatment for prostate cancer, followed by three weeks of external beam radiation therapy.
"During the entire process I continued to do my gym workouts and carry on as if nothing was wrong," said Kikkert. "As a result, I did not experience any side effects during treatment or any after effects. I have remained cancer free for almost 12 years, and I continue to exercise regularly."
For two years, he's been planning the father-son motorcycle adventure.
Their journey will take them through several states to California, where they will then ride back up the West Coast Highway to Tim's home. Kikkert will then ride back across Canada.
Kikkert and his son have raised nearly $50,000 in nine years for prostate cancer research by riding in two different motorcycle charity fundraisers. But this time they're riding side-by-side across Route 66 raising funds and awareness for both rides simultaneously.
No stranger to the fast lane, Kikkert feels confident about travelling nearly 350 kilometres a day. To keep his strength up, he hits the gym three times a week.
"Due to my battle with this disease and through my love of motorcycles, I began participating in the Ottawa 'Ride for Dad' in 2005 and have every year since," said Kikkert.
In 2011, Tim rode in British Columbia's Ride To Live for the first time with his daughter by his side. He was hooked.
Both father and son agree, it was encouraging to see men standing up and recognizing that this cancer needs to come out of the shadows and be discussed ‚Äď something men are traditionally not very good at.
"We have had a lot of fun interacting with all those people each year, raising awareness about this cancer and best of all, hearing about their stories and experiences in their families with prostate and other cancers," he said.
All of their supporters and donors get full access to their adventure through pictures of rides, and information on prostate cancer and on where the funds go from their efforts.
To follow the Kikkerts as they ride the Mother Road for prostate cancer or to make a donation, visit their Facebook page.