Cory Monteith will always be remembered as a talented singer and actor, but those close to him don't want us to forget that he was an exceptionally kind and selfless person, too.
The late Glee star's friend Brook Lander Shurtz told E! News exclusively how Cory went above and beyond to help make a terminally ill fan's dream come true.
"The most important thing in this tragic time that I want people to understand and realize is Cory the person. And to me Cory the person was a kind, selfless, genuine person that gave," Brook recalled. "And one example I could touch on is this little girl that contacted him from Connecticut, and she was terminally ill. And all she wanted to do was be a part of the Glee set. "
Wanting to help make the girl's dream come true, Cory invited her to Los Angeles. "Unfortunately, her illness prevented her from being on the plane," Brook explained.
But that wasn't the end of it for Lea Michele's love. "He went a step further, and he actually reached out to her and made arrangements when he was on the East Coast to meet up with her and made her day," Brook said.
Cory was humble when E! News asked him about the meeting. "I have a friend who has a friend—a young girl who has lymphoma, I believe. She's quite ill, and the only thing in the world she wanted to do is come visit the cast of Glee," he said. "I mean, to put a smile on somebody's face that's in a bad situation like that—is there anything more important than that? The ability to be able to do that is mind blowing. I'm blessed."
The actor's friend explained that this type of selflessness was the norm for Cory. "He'd go out of his way for other people. He'd go out of his way for his friends, for his castmates, he would go out of his way for the underdog, for the people that might not have the voice others do," he said. "And I think that's so special and that's what I always appreciated about Cory."
Brook reminisced about visiting Cory in Vancouver and seeing him in his "true element," saying, "He took me to a hockey game, my very first ever Canucks game. And he wanted me to be a part of this environment, this culture of the Vancouver Canucks. The very first thing we did was we walked into the store, and he bought me a proper jersey. He said, 'Throw it on, you're a Canuck.' It just felt so good. He didn't have to do that."
"You always hear about these philanthropic things he does for other people and for people he might not know and reach out to. But he did for his friends too," said Brook. "There was just this quality to Cory that he wanted to give. I hope people see the positive aspects of Cory's life and remember him for this person that he was."
Brook described Cory as a "very humble guy," saying that he "liked humanity in his life. He liked the normality of doing normal things. He truly believed that this was what he did and not who he was.
"It always seemed like he was enjoying life," Brook said. "He loved to snowboard. He loved to play the drums. He loved to play video games. He loved his cars. He had a zest for life, and he was so worldly, and he was well-traveled. And he was intelligent."
Cory, who Brook remembered as "genuine" and always having "this coy little smile," was also open with the public and his fans about his struggles with substance abuse.
"He handled things very honestly. He acknowledged his past, and he accepted responsibility," Brook said. "But I think he used it in a way to help others and bring a positive message that he came from a certain place and he made it out.
"And I think that people are down and out on their luck, I think Cory is an inspirational story and will live on, and will continue to be an inspirational story for all these people that are struggling and maybe don't have a direction. I think they can look to him and say, 'I can do it too.'"
Although we don't know the official cause of death for the Glee star, a Vancouver Police Department source told E! News that because of the public interest, autopsy results will be revealed early this week.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Cory's family and friends during this tragic time.
If you or someone you know needs help with addiction issues, contact Narcotics Anonymous (http://www.na.org).
For more on the details surrounding Cory Monteith's death, tune in to E! News Monday at 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.