Have you ever heard a story of a stranger’s hardship and felt powerless to help?

A young Toronto boy says there’s a way everyone in the world can help him and his family through a difficult time: On March 5, just give someone a hug.

As eight-year-old Sebastian Yanquelevech bravely prepares to undergo brain surgery for a second time in his young life, he’s put out a call to anyone and everyone to show support, simply by giving a hug.

Sebastian is hoping to harness the power of a hug for his mother, so that she won’t worry about him.

At age four, Sebastian was diagnosed with a massive brain tumour. Just before he had the surgery to remove much of it, Sebastian saw his mother in tears.

“And he looked at me and said, ‘Don’t be sad, I’m going to be fine,’” recalled Nadine Weis. “And he looked at the doctor and said, ‘We can go now.’”

Sebastian was fine after the surgery but he has recently suffered several seizures a day.

On Thursday, he will undergo surgery for a second time.

One of Sebastian’s biggest concerns is how his mom will cope on the day of the operation.

“He has an empathy that not many eight-year-olds have,” said Weis.

She said Sebastian recently learned about the Internet, and asked her to share his story online, in the hopes that the world will offer them support.

It was Weis who came up with the idea of posting a video asking people to hug on the day of the surgery.

“I urge everybody … on March 5 … to hug the person beside you and when you hug that person, all of those beautiful endorphins and magical energy will be released into the universe and I know that they will reach my son,” Weis says in the video, which has been posted to YouTube.

So far, Sebastian’s mother says the response has been remarkable.

And Sebastian says he’s not so scared anymore.

“I want to tell them so they can hug each other and that will make me feel awesome,” Sebastian said.

With a report by CTV’s John Vennavally-Rao