Annual Ride for Breast Cancer Screening
For many motorcycle riders in Regina and the surrounding area, September is special.
On the third Sunday, riders gather at Prairie Harley Davidson for the Annual Ride for Breast Cancer Screening. Together, they celebrate loved ones in remission or on their cancer journey. They also remember those lost to this devastating disease.
September 20, 2020, marks the 17th year of hitting the open road to support breast cancer patients. Proceeds will benefit the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency’s Screening Program for Breast Cancer.
For Caron Zora-Hertzog, co-owner of Prairie Harley Davidson and one of the organizers, she says the event is circled on people’s calendars.
“We always try to keep it on a similar weekend every year so that people just know when it will be,” Caron explains.
The Ride began when Gail, a member of the Harley Owners Group and the Ladies of Harley, went for her routine mammogram. She approached the Owners Group afterwards saying, “We need to do more to ensure women have access to a screening mammogram.”
With that, the Annual Ride for Breast Cancer Screening was born.
The ride has evolved over the years. What started out as a small gathering has grown into a full-day event. About 100 riders take part annually.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 17 years. It doesn’t feel like that long, and it’s really come full circle through the years,” says Caron.
Since 2010 the ride has raised $161,841. The money has supported everything from the purchase of digital mammography and patient equipment to a mobile mammography bus. The bus travels across the province providing access to mammograms for women in rural Saskatchewan.
Last year over 37,500, women received mammograms through the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency including over 8,000 on the mobile bus.
This year’s event is supporting the replacement of the bus, which is near the end of its lifecycle.
“I hope and believe that it (the ride) has had an impact on women being more apt or more likely to get screening. We all know that early detection does help survival rates of women, so we hope as a result, we have more women surviving breast cancer,” Caron says.
This year’s ride will look a little different. After registering, riders are encouraged to head out on their own ride around the lakes rather than a large group. There will be no celebration at the Conexus Arts Centre afterwards; instead, participants can purchase food from food trucks that will be on site. Everyone needs to follow the provincial guidelines for social distancing.
For Caron, the COVID-19 Pandemic has strengthened the importance of the event. Cancer does not stop.
“People still need to go get their mammograms, they still need to look after their own health,” says Caron. “I think with the ride, it’s creating awareness that these things still need to happen and are still safe to do.”