25 September 2023

Defence in long ride for prostate cancer

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Photo: Corporal Veronica O’Hara

The Department of Defence’s 2019 Long Ride to raise funds for prostate cancer research set off from Canberra last week on its way to Darwin.

The motorcyclists arrived in Darwin on Saturday (May 18) after riding through regional NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

National coordinator of the Long Ride, Lieutenant Colonel Scott Barras (pictured) said most men did not talk about prostate health.

“The misconception is still there of having to drop the pants and bend over to get checked,” Lieutenant Colonel Barras said.

“This is why the motorbikes come in handy because people come over and ask what we’re doing and, when you tell them, they say: ‘I don’t want that being done’.

“So I say: ‘Actually mate, it’s not that hard, it’s only a blood test now’.”

For the first time, the Long Ride also occurred overseas with a group of four Royal Australian Air Force personnel posted in the United States taking part.

Wing Commander Paul Connor was a catalyst for creating the international route, starting at Colorado Springs, Colorado, riders headed north-east through Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park, east to Sundance, Utah, before returning to Colorado Springs over nine days.

All funds raised go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s research programs.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men, with more than 20,000 men diagnosed each year and about 3,500 dying from it.

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