Gord Downie brain cancer fund raises $265K, still growing
'What this isn’t the end of is the opportunity for awareness and ... to raise funds': Downie's doctor
There's no doubt that Gord Downie has inspired Canadians through his music, bringing many fans to tears during his final Man Machine Poem concert over the weekend.
But Downie also inspired people to donate a whopping $200,000 to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research over the weekend alone. As of Monday morning, total funds were at $265,000 and were continuing to grow.
"We have heard from Canadians across the country, in the United States and around the world who organized events to watch the show and collect donations," Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre said in a press release Monday.
Several corporations have contacted Sunnybrook hospital with interest in supporting the fund, according to the hospital.
Now that the tour is over, the band will get together with the hospital and decide how to direct the money donated to the hospital's Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research. The money will likely be used for brain cancer research and technologies.
Not an end to raise awareness
Downie is suffering from glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer with no cure. In May, it was announced the veteran singer and lyricist's case was terminal.
Downie's doctor, James Perry, has toured with the band every step of the way, from Victoria's opening show to the last stop of the tour in Kingston this weekend.
Perry said fatigue is the main concern for brain cancer patients like Downie.
"He's worked very hard to overcome that. It comes through rehearsal and his effort and dedication to do this, for not only his fans but now for a cause he's probably never imagined in his life."
He said although the tour is over, there's something that won't end.
"What this isn't the end of is the opportunity for awareness and the opportunity to raise funds," said Perry.
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Perry said he noticed a lot of fans delivering the message about the urgent need for fundraising for brain cancer.
In terms of Downie's health, especially after an ambitious 15-concert tour across Canada, Perry said that the singer's condition is "still quite early in the disease course."
"Gord is facing the time of his life, he's taking this challenge and running with it. And he'll run with it for as long as he's able to do."