Every 28 days, a head-turning 1963 Chevy Bel Air pulls up to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Longwood Campus. Out of the forest green classic steps Frazier, a 63-year-old liver cancer patient, who travels from Cape Cod monthly for treatment with Thomas Abrams, MD.
An Air Force veteran originally from Brighton, Mass., just down the street from Dana-Farber, Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer in December 2020, after years of dealing with hepatitis C. He was referred to Dana-Farber by a friend’s daughter, who works at the Institute, and has had 12 cycles of chemo over the past year.
“For both hepatitis C and liver cancer, there usually aren’t symptoms for either, and sometimes people are diagnosed too late,” Frazier says. “The key for me is to keep going, keep moving.”
And keep moving he has. A retired firefighter, Frazier keeps busy by working on cars, like his classic Bel Air, and doing home improvements. Due to his hepatitis C diagnosis, he says he hasn’t felt well “for 20 years,” but he is weathering cancer treatment well, albeit with some fatigue and hoarseness in his voice. Every month, he makes the drive to Dana-Farber for treatment. Then he usually has seven not-so-great days, followed by seven good ones.
“Defying cancer to me means to keep going, and stay active in your life, even when you’re tired,” he reflects.
“Before I got to Dana-Farber, I never realized how many people were affected by cancer,” Frazier says. “Research takes a long time, and funding helps to accelerate this progress.”
With the help of donations from Dana-Farber and Jimmy Fund supporters, Dr. Abrams and his colleagues are working to do just what Frazier says: accelerate progress, especially for rare cancers that get less funding and attention.
For now, Frazier will continue working on his car and house, traveling to Dana-Farber to see Dr. Abrams, and defying cancer one day at a time.
Support patients like Frazier by joining The Dana-Farber Campaign, our ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. As a community, we have the power to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future—in Boston and around the world. Together, we can defy cancer at every turn. Learn more about The Dana-Farber Campaign at DefyCancer.org.