Fight Like Frazer
Acuitas Therapeutics partners with Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada to Fight Like Frazer.
For two days, 9-year-old Frazer Anderson was having headaches and experiencing double-vision so he asked his mom to make an appointment with the optometrist. On April 9, 2021, following an eye exam, Frazer was diagnosed with a large brain tumour in the back of his cerebellum. It took a 12-hour surgery to remove the Grade 1 Pilocytic Astrocytoma, which was also attached to his brain stem. Frazer suffered significant post-surgical complications and was on life support for 3.5 weeks, but Frazer is a fighter and he pulled through! Filled with hope and determination, Frazer and his parents, Tim and Jessica, faced the long road of rehabilitation to restore Frazer’s coordination, muscle control, and eyesight. “Frazer had multiple health care teams along his journey, from the Neuro team, PCCU, B6 Nurses at Children’s Hospital, the Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation nurses, doctor and therapists, to then his community and private therapist,” shared Jessica. “They all had such a big impact on Frazer’s recovery and also helped lift us up with so much love and support.”
In June 2022, a little more than a year after Frazer’s diagnosis and surgery, his family participated in the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s Annual Walk event to raise funds and awareness for brain tumours. To help ‘Team Fight Like Frazer’ raise funds, a family friend reached out to a contact at Acuitas Therapeutics hoping for some added support. Acuitas Therapeutics heard Frazer’s story and recognized that they could help make a difference. They donated $25,000 to Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada to establish the Frazer Anderson Pediatric Research Grant.
“The team at Acuitas Therapeutics is dedicated to improving human health through the development of lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery systems for nucleic acid therapeutics. We understand the power of scientific research and are honoured to support Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada in establishing the Frazer Anderson Pediatric Research Grant,” said Abi Coman-Walker, Chief Operating Officer at Acuitas. She added “Frazer is a fighter, and instead of allowing what has happened to him and his family to knock them down, they are looking to lift others up. They serve as an inspiration to us all.”
To mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada is pleased to announce that this grant has been awarded to Dr. Alan Underhill at the University of Alberta. Dr. Underhill’s work on this project aims to identify and understand how unique DNA mutations occur in specific tumours in children and how that knowledge can be applied to identifying strategies that can enhance current treatments. Dr. Underhill notes “The funds received from the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada will allow us to build on exciting preliminary results and are critical to sustaining longer term studies aimed at evaluating clinical utility in childhood brain cancers.”
“If it wasn’t for years of research to date, who knows what Frazer’s outcome would have been. Our family has vowed, instead of letting the fear take over, we are going to dedicate our lives to helping advance research so that years from now maybe children won’t have to have such invasive treatments like my son did. Or there will be a new technology that will be invented that will save my son’s life again. We believe research saved his life and we believe it will continue to do so. As he has a long life to live”, shared Jessica.
Frazer is now 10 years old and is back to being an active kid who enjoyed his first experience away at Camp Fire Circle this summer, plays as many sports as he can, and loves gym class at school. He is not the same kid as he was before the tumour and the surgery, but he continues to face his challenges with resilience and perseverance, and he has committed himself to helping other kids through their brain tumour journey.