Doug Gilmour chokes back tears while discussing Gord Downie's cancer
Taline McPhedran, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, November 23, 2016 10:47AM EST
Leafs great Doug Gilmour is asking hockey fans across North America to raise funds for a campaign that will benefit Gord Downie’s brain cancer research fund.
Gilmour is calling on people to donate money through his campaign, Courage: Let’s Do It For Gordie, to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. The money will go towards finding a cure for currently unbeatable brain cancers.
The Tragically Hip’s Downie announced that he had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, a deadly brain tumour, in May before going on tour with the band over the summer.
“I think the biggest thing is just the relationship that I have with the band members,” Gilmour told CTV’s Your Morning in an emotional interview. “This caught us all off guard and the funds are needed for Sunnybrook Hospital.”
A $10 donation to the campaign will enter participants for a chance to win a trip to a Toronto Maple Leafs game and watch it in a box with Gilmour. Other prizes include limited edition T-shirts, a signed custom Gilmour jersey and a chance to win Gilmour’s personal Harley Davidson by donating $30,000. The deadline to donate is Dec. 30.
According to Gilmour, he’s been friends with the band members for decades and finds many of their songs inspirational, particularly Courage, which serves as an important aspect of his campaign name and logo.
“You’re going to see a little crest that says ‘courage’,” said Gilmour. “He showed it and that’s my favourite song.”
The band’s last show was in Kingston, Ont. where the singer and Gilmour both grew up. Gilmour said he attended the last concert on the Man Machine Poem tour and said it was “very emotional” and “inspirational” watching Downie perform.
“For me, it was just being a part of it like every other Canadian, whether you were watching on TV or were there to see it live,” said Gilmour.
Downie’s fund has so far raised $1 million for brain cancer research while almost $400,000 has been donated in Downie’s name to the Canadian Cancer Society. The money will be used to support clinical trials and research in an effort to find a cure.
According to Gilmour, Downie “has his ups and downs” but is doing well.