Major League Fishing star and three-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year Aaron Martens has been coping with serious health issues for most of this year. In April, doctors discovered a pair of brain tumors. Since that time, Martens has undergone surgeries and radiation therapy in efforts to remove the cancerous growths and prevent their return.

But the cost of these efforts is considerable, and the drain on family resources immense. Aaron and the Martens family have a GoFundMe campaign through which they hope to raise enough money to defray some or all of the medical costs. To date, the effort has raised more than $46,000 of its $50,000 goal, but that modest goal may wind up well short of the actual medical expenses the family will incur. Surpassing the goal is important, and it can happen with your support.

“Aaron is one of the great people I’ve met in my decades in the fishing industry,” says Fishing Tackle Retailer editor Ken Duke. “Apart from being one of the best anglers in the history of the sport, he’s one of the best people, too, and his family is equally remarkable and admirable. I hope that everyone reading this can find a way to help, either by making a donation to the GoFundMe effort, by including Aaron in their thoughts and prayers and by passing this along to others who can help.”

“The stories you hear about his kindness and his heart are true,” adds Fishing Tackle Retailer digital editor Joe Sills. “As a young writer, he was one of the first professional anglers to reach out and encourage me. His famous connection to animals and nature goes beyond wildlife and extends to humanity as a whole. When Aaron saw me blogging about a California road trip in my mid-20s, sleeping in the back of a SUV and eating ramen noodles over a campfire, he and Leslie donated funds to get me to the next stop. They did so completely unprompted. Now, it’s not just my time to return the favor, but it’s time that the entire fishing industry rally around the Martens family to help one of the great spirits of our industry. The fishing industry is a better place with Aaron Martens in it.”

Long known as one of the most health-conscious anglers on the tournament trail, Martens is often seen running, stretching or exercising near tournament waters. That and his diet kept him trim and athletic, so it was especially surprising to fans of the sport that he was struck with serious health problems.

Thoughts and prayers are extraordinarily helpful, inspirational and encouraging at this time, but — for those who are able — financial help is critical, too. As noted in the GoFundMe campaign for Aaron and the Martens family, “We wanted to set up a way for the fishing community to contribute to him and his family to show our love and support in their time of need.”