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

FILOMI Days sees massive crowd arrive in town to enjoy weekend festivities

The North Island Gazette was at just about every event this weekend.

Rumble on the Runway returns to Port McNeill Airport

In fact, the event is so popular that officials say it is usually sold out months in advance.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Fireweed in full bloom

“This year is shaping up to be a good year for fireweed.”

Tahsis Inlet voted BC’S top boating destination for 2019

Tahsis Inlet is located midway up the west coast of Vancouver Island

Oceanfront RV campground in Port Alice is open for business

Anstee plans to have other amenities besides camping, “but for now, this is it.”

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Vancouver Island teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students, parents

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Vancouver Island man wanted after walking away from halfway house in Victoria

Warrant issued for Jesse Goodale, convicted of aggravated assault

Most Read