top of page
You've Got to be Kidding...

Pedalling in Port Perry


Jonathan van Bilsen

September 7, 2023

Pedalling in Port Perry

This community is amazing when it comes to raising funds for good causes. Be it a CT scanner for the hospital, or a guide dog for someone in need, people in this town, certainly step up to the plate.

Next week is the annual Port Perry Pedals event. The brainchild of Marc Gibbons, this bicycle trek will take place on Sunday, September 10th, and will feature circuits of 10 km to 160 km. So, why am I writing about this, you ask?

Well, this year I am participating, probably as the oldest biker in the event. The cause is fantastic. We are raising money for a PET scanner for Lakeridge Health. A PET (positron emission tomography) scanner is what most victims of cancer need access to. Currently, there are two in Toronto and two in Ottawa, with none in between. Durham Region has a population of well over 700,000, and is expected to reach 1,000,000 in the next ten years.

These numbers, unto themselves are quite normal, but drilling down a bit, you will find two out of five people in Canada, are diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. 66% of all people diagnosed with cancer require a PET scan. Include people who have been previously diagnosed, and you will find 30 people in Durham Region have a PET scan each week.

Most of these go to Sunnybrook or Princess Margaret, with a few having to travel to Ottawa. Try and picture someone who is not well, with a caregiver or taxi, driving to one of these institutions, paying $30+ for parking, walking through what amounts to a city of people (1.3 million patients a year at Sunnybrook), and having to deal with all the related stress. The Durham Region Cancer Centre, in Oshawa, is a leading facility of its kind in Canada. People from Durham, should have access to a local PET scanner.

Another interesting fact is, we do not pay for healthcare in this country. Although it needs fixing, the system is there for those with cancer. A CT scan is about $500, as is an MRI, and a PET scan costs about $3,000. Most of us do not know these figures, because we DO NOT pay.

Consider being part of this initiative, and visit My team is the BIKERS WITHOUT BORDERS and I would very much appreciate anything you can spare. Remember, we do not choose cancer, it chooses us.

Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube.

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
bottom of page