It Wasn't June Without the Tbaytel Motorcycle Ride for Dad
Published Tuesday, September 1, 2020
John Pascuzzo didn’t let the cancellation of the Tbaytel Motorcycle Ride for Dad stop him from doing his own ride this past June; this would have been his 17th straight year riding. Incredibly, he raised $3,230 for the Northern Cancer Fund to continue to support important advancements in research, education, diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer.
By Heather Vita
‘Forever’ seems to aptly describe how long John Pascuzzo has been riding in the annual Tbaytel Motorcycle Ride for Dad. In reality, he started in 2004 and 2020 would have been his 17th year in a row in this event that has a very special place in his heart.
“I couldn’t let this year go by without some type of Ride,” he said. “With the in-person event cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided I would still ride on the day it was to take place and continue to raise money for the Northern Cancer Fund to support prostate cancer education, diagnosis, treatment and research.”
“Were it not for my brother Peter, I likely would have never started participating in this Ride,” John admitted. “He loved this Ride, but his last one was on June 14, 2003 as he, unfortunately, passed away from cancer just two weeks shy of his 47th birthday. I’m proud to continue to ride the bike he rode for years.”
“The actual day of the Ride was perfect,” recalled John. “I was happy to have my son Joseph, and my cousin Frank join me – socially distanced of course. We really were the three Pascuzzos honouring Peter.”
Continued John, “We went along the route we normally take for the Tbaytel Motorcycle Ride for Dad, and took some photos at some of our regular stops. I even continued the tradition of the poker run and pulled the same 5 Aces that Peter pulled when he rode in 2003!”
“Our one detour from the regular route was our lunch stop, and that’s because I called up my Mom and told her we were coming for lunch,” laughed John. “You’re always guaranteed a good lunch at Nonna’s. She was a good sport too and got on the bike for some photos.”
Later in the afternoon the riders stopped at Crystal Beach Variety and enjoyed ice cream , then finished up the day at Bass Lake.
Also part of John’s ride this year was his remarkable history of fundraising for the Northern Cancer Fund. Each year, he’s raised thousands of dollars and this year was no different, with a total of $3,230 raised!
“I’m so glad I decided to continue the event, even though it was very different because we weren’t together with everyone,” said John. “Normally there’s a huge sense of camaraderie at the event and we do it so that we can continue to support advancements in prostate cancer research and care. The messaging about men’s health and what we’ve been able to accomplish as a community of riders is always so important to hear. I’m truly thankful to everyone who donated to this ride. I’d also like to thank the Health Sciences Foundation for their support in helping me continue my unique Ride this year.”
“One in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. The good news is that, when detected early, prostate cancer is highly treatable,” said Glenn Craig, President & CEO of the Health Sciences Foundation. “Thanks to people like John who are so committed to fundraising, we’re able to continue to offer advanced treatment options like prostate brachytherapy.”
“Prostate brachytherapy is an internal radiation treatment that has shown great results in recent clinical trials that confirm that it’s an effective treatment for prostate cancer,” said Dr. Marlon Hagerty, Radiation Oncologist with Regional Cancer Care Northwest at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. “Not only does this treatment option have a potentially higher cure rate, it also shows more acceptable side effects when compared to alternative treatments.”
For his part, John is delighted that he was able to continue to contribute, and as he said, “We all need to do our part.” “It really wasn’t June without the Tbaytel Motorcycle Ride for Dad,” concluded John. “I’m already anticipating next year’s Ride where we can all work together to support better prostate cancer care.”
For more information on hosting your own fundraising event, please visit healthsciencesfoundation.ca/host-an-event or call (807) 345-HOPE (4673) and ask to speak to Elaine.