Latest News580 CFRA producer Brian Fraser loses battle with leukemia

580 CFRA producer Brian Fraser loses battle with leukemia

Brian Fraser, a technical producer at Ottawa’s 580 CFRA, has died after a two-year battle with leukemia. He was just 26.

Fraser first joined CFRA as a board operator in 2015, while still a student in the Algonquin College Radio Broadcasting program, and was one of the voices heard on the The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll.

Following his diagnosis in May 2019, Fraser frequently documented his cancer journey on Twitter, including advocating for blood cancer awareness and blood donation.

He accelerated his social media appeals last March during the pandemic, even doing an interview on CTV National News on the need for blood products during the lockdown. His own treatment regimen had become more aggressive as the disease morphed into acute lymphocytic leukemia and he prepared for a stem cell transplant with regular transfusions.

The stem cell transplant was successful and Fraser went into remission for six months, but by October the cancer had returned, aggressively. He announced in January that he had made the difficult decision not to continue treatment.

A legendarily rabid Ottawa Senators fan, the team began Friday’s practice with a stick to the sky salute to Fraser at centre ice.

Sporting a Sens jersey in Fraser’s honour, Bill Carroll appeared on Ottawa’s CTV Morning Live on Friday, saying Fraser loved the Senators, the TV show Survivor and had a passion for helping other people, especially those battling leukemia like he was.

“He showed such courage in the last two years. This 26-year-old man taught us so much about being brave and strong,” said Carroll. “We will never forget you.”

Fraser appeared on Carroll’s show a month ago, sharing his views on death and spirituality.

“He was just incredibly insightful and brave. He didn’t want to make this last journey. He was too young and he felt that he had not left a legacy and he hadn’t accomplished anything, so it was difficult to talk to him about that but he was just so open and honest,” said Carroll. “I think you get to a certain age and you focus on what happens next and this young man taught me an important lesson which is how to face death.”

Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre stood in the House of Commons on Friday urging everyone to donate blood in Fraser’s honour.

In addition to his time with CFRA, Fraser served as a play-by-play and colour commentator for the CJHL Nepean Raiders on Algonquin College campus station, CKDJ-FM, from 2013-16.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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