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Iron Arse: The beer the helps support prostate cancer research

Dr. Don Chow, MD, FRCSC and Chris Phillips, Big Rig Brewery at the official launch of the 2017 TELUS Ride For Dad, held April 27 at Kanata’s Big Rig Brewery.

Retired Ottawa Senators defenceman Chris Phillips is proud to show his support for this year’s Ottawa TELUS Motorcycle Ride. Phillips is a partner in the Big Rig Kitchen & Brewery, the name of which pays homage to Phillips’ nickname from his roots in the Alberta oil town of Fort McMurray.

“I am very exited to be the Grand Marshall for the TELUS Ride for Dad here in Ottawa again this year,” said Phillips. “It is an incredible event given the number of participants, which have raised valuable funds in the fight against prostate cancer.”

To help support the Ottawa TELUS Motorcycle Ride, Phillips and Big Rig Brewery brewmaster Lon Ladell have developed an incredible beer with an incredible name: Iron Arse beer. An easy-drinking pale ale, Iron Arse is available in cans, growlers and on tap at the Big Rig Taproom (103 Schneider Rd. in Kanata) and their west end location (2750 Iris St.). All proceeds from the sale of Iron Arse beer will be going to the TELUS Ride for Dad.

TELUS Ride For Dad organizers and supporters Byron Smith, National Ride Captain and Co-Founder; Chris Phillips, Big Rig Brewery; Shannon Gorman, National Director, Community Affairs at TELUS; Garry Janz, President, TELUS Ride For Dad.


Iron Arse refers to both the trait needed to sit on a motorcycle for extended period of times, as well as a reminder of the importance of regular testing for prostate cancer. The PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test measures the blood level of PSA, a protein that is produced by the prostate gland. The higher a man’s PSA level, the more likely it is that he might have prostate cancer.

One man who knows all about the importance of such testing is Dr. Don Chow, who will be heading out on a Harley-Davidson with thousands of other Ottawa-area riders at this year’s TELUS Ride for Dad. This will be his 12th ride – and the first since he was diagnosed last year with prostate cancer.

“I’ve been PSA-tested for the past four years and the first three were normal,” says the 60-year-old orthopedic surgeon. “Last year my test came back as slightly elevated, and because it had changed, my urologist recommended an ultrasound-guided biopsy. The results showed some prostate cancer.”

It was decided to do a laparoscopic prostatectomy on Dr. Chow to remove the lump. “The best way to do that is with a laparoscopic robot, partially funded by the TELUS Ride for Dad,” he said. The surgery was performed at the General Campus of The Ottawa Hospital on Jan. 27. “I was off work for four weeks, until the wounds healed up, and then I returned to my regular duties,” said Dr. Chow.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed men’s cancer. One in seven Canadian men will be diagnosed with this disease. Twelve men will die from it today. Successful treatment depends on early detection – prostate cancer is 90 per cent curable if caught early. In the longer term, research into improved diagnosis, treatment, prevention and a cure will improve our capacity to deal with this disease.

The TELUS Ride for Dad in Ottawa will be held June 3, starting at the Canada Aviation Museum, 11 Aviation Parkway. It will be a fun-filled day of riding with a lunch, poker run, prizes and more, all while helping to raise money to fight prostate cancer for our local community. TELUS Ride for Dad events take place in multiple cities, coast to coast across Canada.

The mission of the TELUS Ride for Dad is to raise funds to save men’s lives by supporting prostate cancer research and raising public awareness of the disease. “I am living proof that those Ride for Dad efforts are successful,” said Dr. Chow. Since 2000, the TELUS Ride for Dad has donated more than $23 million to the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation, to support prostate cancer research and awareness in the communities where the funds were raised.

In the decade Dr. Chow has been collecting pledges, he has raised approximately $68,000, and is a member of the “Captain’s Club” triple diamond level. “I encourage people to do the Ride and collect pledges if they have a motorcycle,” he said. “If you don’t have a bike, sponsor somebody who is doing the Ride, and go online at to make a donation or find out more.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of the TELUS Ride for Dad.

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