The Tragically Hip's Gord Downie Diagnosed with Terminal Brain Cancer

Photo: Shane Parent

BY Sarah MurphyPublished May 24, 2016

The Canadian music world was shaken by sad news this morning (May 24). The Tragically Hip's 52-year-old frontman Gord Downie revealed that he has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
The news broke via a message from the band on their website, in which they disclose that Downie received the medical news back in December and has "fighting hard since."
Despite the difficult situation, the band will tour once again. The Tragically Hip will bring their music to live stages across Canada this summer, with details expected to be announced later this week. "We're going to dig deep," the group said, "and try to make this our best tour yet."

The shows will give fans a chance to hear music from the Hip's upcoming album Man Machine Poem, which is due out on June 17, as well as allowing them to celebrate the group's impressive 30-plus-year career.
Read the full message from the Tragically Hip below.
Hello friends.
We have some very tough news to share with you today, and we wish it wasn't so.
A few months ago, in December, Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Since then, obviously, he's endured a lot of difficult times, and he has been fighting hard. In privacy along with his family, and through all of this, we've been standing by him.
So after 30-some years together as The Tragically Hip, thousands of shows, and hundreds of tours…
We've decided to do another one.
This feels like the right thing to do now, for Gord, and for all of us.
What we in The Hip receive, each time we play together, is a connection; with each other; with music and it's magic; and during the shows, a special connection with all of you, our incredible fans.
So, we're going to dig deep, and try to make this our best tour yet.
We hope you can come out and join us this summer – details and dates will be coming this week.
And we sincerely thank all of you, for your continued love and support,
Paul, GordD, Johnny, Rob, GordS

UPDATE (5/24, 11:30 a.m.): Downie's doctor spoke to media at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto this morning, revealing more details about the singer's condition.

Dr. James Perry explained that Downie was diagnosed with glioblastoma — the most aggressive form of tumours that originate in the brain. In these cases, surgery can slow down the spread of cancer, but not completely cure the disease. Downie underwent surgery in the winter, followed by radiation and chemotherapy sessions that ended last month.

"[These tumours are] impossible to remove completely by surgery [and] they frequently recur," Perry said at the press conference. "It's my difficult duty today to tell you Gord Downie's tumour is incurable."

Many from within the Canadian music industry and abroad have offered their support for Downie on social media. Find some messages of encouragement and gratitude below.

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