Magical evening for Bikers Against Brain Cancer

By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario – It’s no illusion – the first of many upcoming events in Cornwall supporting brain cancer research and awareness raised over $5,000.

Over 125 people gathered for the Bikers Against Brain Cancer’s ‘Magical Evening’ at Riverdale Terrace on Friday (May 22).

The annual motorcycle ride takes off next month on Saturday (June 13), but the fundraising component is already in full gear.

“I’m intending for this to become a yearly event,” said organizer Dr. Paul Poirier, who founded Bikers Against Brain Cancer in 2010.

All the proceeds from each fundraiser will go to the Montreal Neurological Institute, which is part of McGill University.

Poirier’s longtime friend Dr. Joe Schwarcz, director of the university’s office for science and society, entertained the crowd with chemistry-based magic.

Not that he believes in that sort of thing.

“There is no such thing as real magic – everything that you do on the stage is scientifically explicable,” said Schwarcz.

Click here to watch his TEDx Montreal talk ‘The Importance of Skepticism in Science’ from summer 2012.

Bikers Against Brain Cancer week unofficially kicks off on Thursday, June 4 with a launch party at La Maison featuring six musical acts, including Rock Bottom, SwitchGear, and Sean Harley. Cover: $10. The local tavern will also host a comedy event the next night.

“What Paul is doing is extremely important, because most funding we rely on is from government services, and those are drying up.  The only way we’re ever going to conquer this disease is through funding research,” said Schwarcz.

Each year, a young cancer survivor is chosen to be the ride’s guest of honour. And in 2015, the special recipient is Mya Jackson.

The young girl suffers from a rare disease known as NF2 – an inherited ailment that leads to the formation of tumours in the brain and parts of the nervous system.

Click here to read our previous coverage ‘Cornwall girl back home after brain surgery days ago’ detailing her courageous battle.

Jackson enjoyed the evening with former guests of honour: Madison Primeau and Devon Payette. The event also included performances by Seaway News photographer and entertainment reporter Roxanne Delage with Rod Robillard, Rodney Rivette and Marc Muir.

Poirier, who has survived three brain tumours over the last several years, credited his fellow Kinsmen Club of Cornwall members for volunteering their services and stepping up once again as title sponsor.

“Without them this wouldn’t be possible,” he said.

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