Jordan Gildersleeve felt helpless.
Reached via Skype close to a year ago at his current Toronto, Ont. home, the North Vancouver native was at a loss when his parents broke the news that his 55-year-old father, John, had been diagnosed with colon cancer.
"I could tell it was a very difficult thing for my mom and dad to share with me because it's always been their job to protect us from things as parents do and so it was clearly something that was really difficult to share because it was out of his control," says Gildersleeve, 26. "I'm a very naturally inquisitive person so I bombarded them with questions and they didn't know all the answers and it's a time of uncertainty, challenge and scariness and all of those things so that was really tough."
When, approximately four months ago, doctors found a tumour on his grandfather Grant's colon, Gildersleeve could sit idly no more. Teaming up with two of his lifelong friends, fellow Argyle alumni Ben Frisby and Kevin Shaw, both of whom have also had someone in their family affected by men's health issues - Frisby's father is a testicular cancer survivor and Shaw's grandfather recently passed away due to kidney and lung cancer - they've embarked on a crosscountry bike ride dubbed the Moustache Ride Across Canada. The initiative is supporting the Movember Canada campaign, which encourages the growth of moustaches throughout the month of November as a fundraising tool for men's health programs that combat prostate and
testicular cancer as well as mental health challenges, including those offered by Prostate Cancer Canada.
The trio left the Lower Mainland Oct. 17 and plan to arrive in Toronto by Nov. 29, aiming to cycle an average of 110 kilometres a day. They hope to raise $100,000.
Supporting them on the ride is fellow North Vancouver resident Erin Quinn as their driver, and Toronto-based videographer Rob Bickford.
"This was an opportunity for me along with Ben and Kev... to take control and have the ability to actually do something," says Gildersleeve, who's happy to report that his dad and granddad are both believed to be on track to remission as the result of successful treatments.
"Things are looking really good for both of them," he says.
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