WINDSOR, ONT. -- For many in Canada, dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is not the only thing top of mind.

There are about 55,000 Canadians living with brain tumours.

Gordon Martin was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma three years ago.

“I’ve had seven MRIs since 2017 and from the fifth to the sixth MRI is when my tumour started to grow so my neurologist said we now have to do something,” Gordon said. “So I said ‘let’s do the operation.’”

This past summer he underwent surgery to have 75 per cent of the tumour removed.

“Only 75 per cent because of where it sat in my head,” Gordon said. “They were too afraid to get all of it. They said I could live with it. Now I’m going for chemo and radiation in a week and a half.”

Saturday, Oct. 24 is recognized as Brain Cancer Awareness Day, where money is raised for research and to help spread awareness.

“The more people that are aware of the symptoms, the better they can catch this and have a better chance of recovering from it,” he said.

Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada volunteer Melissa Martin said there’s “no better medication” than connecting with those who share similar experiences.

“It’s not fair, life’s not fair sometimes, but if you can fight,” she said. “You got to fight and never give up.”

Local volunteers of the #HatsforHope movement say by wearing a hat they are spreading hope.

“Don’t give up hope,” Gordon said. “Hope is a wonderful thing. It keeps me going every day. Hopefully it does the same for others.”