JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local activist Ben Frazier is opening up about his cancer diagnosis.
On Thursday, he released a statement on Facebook saying he’s “feeling disbelief, shock, fear and anger” about learning he has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Frazier, 72, said he was heading into the hospital Thursday for his third biopsy in three weeks.
In 1979, Frazier became the first Black anchor on a major news show in Jacksonville. He hosted the noon newscast at WJXT.
As the president and founder of the Northside Coalition, Fraizer has dedicated his life to racial equality and anti-violence. He has protested Confederate monuments, pushing city leaders to remove them from area parks, and held demonstrations, calling on the Duval County School Board to change the name of schools bearing the names of Confederate leaders.
He also has been an outspoken critic of Gov. Ron DeSantis. You may remember his very public arrest when he attended an event earlier this year where the governor was speaking in Jacksonville. The governor’s office says he was removed because he was not a credentialed member of the press. Frazier was given a trespassing citation and released, and then the charge was dropped.
More recently, he addressed the United Nations in Switzerland, speaking out against Florida’s controversial “anti-riot” law.
And he was just awarded the Trailblazer Award at the 2022 Jacksonville Image Awards.
News4JAX report Jim Piggott spoke with him and said Frazier appreciates the support.
News4JAX spoke with a local cancer doctor, who is not treating Frazier but described the diagnosis.
“Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a disease of the lymph nodes. It begins in the lymph nodes, generally, and it’s an abnormal growth of cells within the lymph nodes,” said Dr. Scot Ackerman.
Ackerman explained Thursday on “The Morning Show” that the disease is more common in people over the age of 60.
“It’s very treatable. It used to be a death sentence to have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But now malignant lymphoma, or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, they’re synonymous, is very curable,” he said.
We wish Frazier the best.