James Osmond holds up his board during his stop in Port Hardy. The longboarder is in the early stages of a bid to ride his board across Canada raising awareness of prostate cancer.

Long boarder on long ride for prostate cancer

Ontario man bids to board across the country for prostate cancer awareness.

Locals driving the highway last week may well have passed James Osmond on the road.

If you did you would probably remember — the longboarder was hard to miss.

Osmond stopped off on the North Island last week as part of his cross-country tour to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

The Ontario native was in high spirits after the first two weeks of his journey. “It’s one man, a board and a dream,” he said.

Osmond set off from Vancouver May 1 — his first trip outside his home province — and made his way up Vancouver Island by board, stopping off along the way to pass on his message.

He explained that his grandfather, Maurice Gordon Rafuse, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999 and fought a prolonged battle against the disease before passing away in 2005.

Osmond took on the challenge of long boarding his way across the country, stopping in each provincial capital, as a way to commemorate his grandfather and promote regular checks for the disease.

“It’s very preventable,” he explained. Men forty or older should have annual checkups, while those with a family history should consult their doctor to begin earlier testing.

“It’s our own responsibility to maintain our health,” he said.

Osmond plans to traverse the country over the coming months, travelling solo with his tent and supplies in a backpack, and relying on the good will of strangers along the way as he pushes for St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The road up-Island made for a tough start to the journey. “The Malahat was just brutal,” said Osmond, recalling the long uphill climb. He was looking forward to coming out the other side of the Rockies however, and getting onto the relative flat of the prairies; “It’ll be awesome — the open road, wind at my back….”

To follow Osmond’s journey check his facebook community at www.facebook.com/TheBigPushToPreventProstateCancer.

 

Just Posted

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO: North Island Peewee Eagles unleash avalanche of goals against Peninsula in semi-final showdown

The two teams squared up on Sunday morning at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.

North Island Seniors Housing Foundation takes the next step towards getting Trustee Road land

Seniors rejoice, Port Hardy council is very much in favour of helping… Continue reading

Port Hardy Volleyball club requests funding from Port Hardy council

The sport of Volleyball is alive and well in the North Island,… Continue reading

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Most Read