New book details alumni’s battle with leukemia

One Step at a Time is Algonquin College alumni Brian Fraser’s autobiography. He spent the last months of his life working on it but was unable to finish before he died. His friend, Callum Fraser, also an Algonquin College alumni, took over and finished the book, which was released on Oct. 17. One Step at […]
Photo: Nathan Drescher
One Step at a Time is available on all major online book platforms.

One Step at a Time is Algonquin College alumni Brian Fraser’s autobiography. He spent the last months of his life working on it but was unable to finish before he died. His friend, Callum Fraser, also an Algonquin College alumni, took over and finished the book, which was released on Oct. 17.

One Step at a Time is an emotionally-charged, painfully honest first-hand look at living, and dying, with leukemia.

“Brian came to me in December 2020,” Callum said in an interview with the Algonquin Times. “The main reason for his call was him enquiring with me to help him out with a book project. He wanted to put together a professional-sounding book. I told him it would be an honour and a privilege.”

Brian Fraser graduated from the broadcasting radio program in 2016 and worked as 580 CFRA’s technical producer on The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll until 2020, when he was diagnosed with leukemia. Fraser then gained national attention through his advocacy for blood donations following a CTV interview from his hospital bed.

“We assembled four or five chapters very quickly, but we didn’t have enough time to finish it before we lost him,” Callum said.

“I had to figure out what to do. I decided to take the journalistic approach and talk to the big players in his life. I managed to put together five or six more chapters and really focused on the inside story of how he became the poster child for blood donations in Canada.”

Callum met Brian at the Bell Media building while Callum was working with TSN. Although both men studied at Algonquin College at the same time, Brian in the radio program and Callum one floor above him in the journalism program, they never ran into each other. But once out of school, they became great friends.

“He was the most candid person you could ever meet,” Callum told the Times. “We decided early on in the process of writing the book that the best way to deal with these heavy topics was with brutal honesty.”

The college renamed one of its Alumni of Distinction awards to the Brian Fraser Recent Graduate award in 2021 in honour of Fraser’s promotion of blood donations in Canada.

One Step at a Time is published by FriesenPress and is available online at various bookstores, including Amazon, Apple Books and Barnes and Noble.

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