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Halifax cancer survivor riding 2,000 km to Toronto for 25 km benefit race

Gary Jones is cycling 2,000 kilometres to Toronto to race in a 25 kilometre cycling benefit. Steve Silva/Global News

The decision by a 72-year-old Halifax man to cycle to Toronto to compete in a cycling event at the Honda Indy racetrack is just another journey for a man who has survived cancer twice.

Gary Jones is one of many cyclists travelling to Ontario’s capital city to ride in a cycling event called the Indy Cycling Challenge, which is also a benefit for Prostate Cancer Canada.

As a survivor of prostate cancer, he was invited to the race by the organization as a way to raise awareness about the disease.

READ MORE: Montrealer embarks on ‘sleepless’ bike ride from Toronto to Montreal to help brother battling cancer

But he’s taking on that challenge a little differently.

“They asked me to tell my story on a podium when I arrive there, so I thought, ‘walk the talk,'” said Jones, who also survived thyroid cancer.

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According to the Canadian Cancer Society, it’s estimated one-in-seven Canadian men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime and one in 29 will die. On average, 58 men will be diagnosed with the type of cancer every day and 11 will die each day from it.

Jones, who lives in Timberlea, said he has lost friends to the disease and he’s also riding for them.

“Because my whole career as a truck driver with 22 wheels, I decided to follow on two wheels and haul hope, faith and attitude. With that I can struggle as I go up the hills and feel the pain, I felt it myself, for other people and then when I’m going down, I’m having a good day.”

READ MORE: Port Coquitlam mother to bike 200 kilometres for cancer

The journey is approximately 2,000 kms and he expects to get there by July 9. The race is on July 13 and he said he’s supposed to speak about his story at 5:30 p.m. before the race begins at 6 p.m.

Jones will leave Halifax on Saturday.

With files from Steve Silva, Global News