Lennie Gallant knows the pain facing the family of rock legend Gord Downie — he lost his sister the same way.

The Tragically Hip frontman loved and celebrated coast to coast died Tuesday night from an incurable form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.

Gallant told CBC that he lost his sister to the same disease.

"His whole battle with cancer was also quite poignant for my family because the cancer that he had was the exact same cancer my sister had and battled with for a couple of years," the singer-songwriter said.

"We had a sense of what he was going through. It's not easy to stay out there and work the way he was under those circumstances."

Gallant said Downie's final televised show brought Canadians together in the same way that Sidney Crosby's golden goal did during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

"They were proudly Canadian ... they were very true to their own beliefs and what their music should be about, either you got on board or you didn't and the whole country got on board," Gallant said.

"We'll miss you Gord, and if you see my sister up there say hi, I'm sure she'd like to share a song with you."

With files from Malcolm Campbell