Watch above: Montrealers took to the streets on Father’s Day to participate in Procure’s Walk of Courage. Rachel Lau has more.
PARC JEAN-DRAPEAU – On a day that was created to celebrate our fathers, thousands of Montrealers gathered at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
“I’m a survivor,” said Gaspard Fauteux. “And proud of it.”
They are walking for those who perhaps no longer can.
“I’m a survivor,” said Laurent Proulx, Procure‘s Executive Director. “I don’t really like the term. I’m a fighter, I would say.”
This is the eighth edition of Procure’s Walk for Courage to fight prostate cancer.
“It’s a great way to celebrate Father’s Day and we couldn’t think of a better way to say, ‘Hey, if you save one man, one man, you’ve done the job,’” said the walk’s founder Robin Burns.
The walk is part of International Men’s Health Week – which ends on Father’s Day. The point is to bring awareness to one of the most deadly cancers facing men today.
“You need support when you have prostate cancer,” said Proulx. “You need support from your family, you need support from your friends and it’s a nice way to show it.”
The walk is a short five kilometres.
GALLERY: Montrealers walk for prostate cancer
Supporters of the cause wore blue T-shirts while others – the survivors – wore red.
“I took a mandate of bringing awareness on my own,” said Proulx. “I felt that, you know, I wasn’t hearing about prostate cancer before. I didn’t know when I got it at 48.”
All three of Montreal’s professional sports teams walked with their own families to show their support for what is one of the most curable forms of cancer.
“We’ve been involved in this since the very first year,” said Mark Weightman, President and CEO of the Montreal Alouettes. “It’s an event that we enjoy and it’s the one day where the Alouettes, the Impact and the Canadiens can walk side by side.”
For some, this walk hits very close to home.
“I recognize friends from over the years and I miss a few friends that are not here this year,” said Fauteux.
WATCH: Taking care of men’s health
It also emphasizes a need for men to speak up.
“It’s the same as breast cancer,” said Burns. “One in seven and 25,000 a year, 25,000 breast cancer, 25,000 prostate cancer. Men won’t talk about it, though.”
Prostate cancer kills 85 Canadians a week, but with just a little bit of awareness, that number could dramatically drop.
“Men, on Father’s Day, or any other day, if you have a grandfather, a father, an uncle, a brother, anybody go get checked,” said Burns. “Early detection means over 95 per cent curable.”
© Shaw Media, 2014