Liza Cozad-Lauser Granted Access to Experimental Cancer Drug By FDA
Following months of intense lobbying that included public votes of support from members of Chickenfoot and Night Ranger, Sammy Hagar drummer David Lauser's wife has been granted access to an experimental treatment for her inoperable brain tumor.
It's a step in the right direction for Liza Cozad-Lauser, whose cause has been championed by a coalition of scientists and Bay Area rock legends since Lauser went public with his wife's struggle to find a more effective method of battling the tumor on her brainstem. Speaking with Ultimate Classic Rock about the ordeal in a November 2013 interview, he mused, "If 6,000 people email the commissioner of the FDA and she actually gets them -- that might get some attention." Those efforts obviously didn't hurt -- as Chickenfoot bassist Michael Anthony told his Facebook followers on May 6, "Update on our friend Liza: the FDA has granted her access to the experimental drug ANP! She starts her treatment in about a week."
"This is the only treatment that has EVER been shown to produce a survivor of my kind of tumor; and there are many of them -- so don't tell me I can't beat this!! Heck I think the fight with the FDA was harder than this will be," Cozad-Lauser enthused in a message to members of her mailing list. "So frankly this is just the beginning -- but guess what -- we at least don't have someone telling us we can't have a fighting chance (and by we I mean all of us) -- you guys have been with me the whole time."
As she noted, this just means the start of a new round in a long fight for Coza-Lauser -- not only through ongoing treatment, but on the financial front. As Anthony put it in his Facebook post, "Costs are very high." On top of fighting the FDA, the Lausers have had to figure out how to deal with their medical bills. In addition to an ongoing fundraising campaign via GiveForward, they were honored with a February benefit concert featuring Hagar and his band the Wabos performing with special guests that included Night Ranger's Jack Blades and Billy Sheehan of Mr. Big.
That show will be rebroadcast May 7 in a web event being held to raise further funds. If you'd like to watch, you can purchase tickets here. No matter what happens next, the Lausers' story serves as an inspiring reminder of how people can effect change when they band together -- something Cozad-Lauser underscored in her message when she gave heartfelt thanks for "Every prayer, every phone call, every email, every posting and share on Facebook, every donation, every signing and sharing of the link to the petition, every note played in a certain concert on Feb. 12th, every email, letter, text and/or phone call to me, every email, letter, phone call to your representative and/or Senator, it goes on and on."