A Surrey-based brewery is once again donating a portion of its beer sales to autism research.
In conjunction with Autism Awareness Month in April, Central City Brewers & Distillers has launched its annual IPA for Autism, supporting Simon Fraser University’s Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG) research for children with autism.
Central City will donate $2 from every six pack of 355 ml cans and 25 centres from every 473 ml can of specially marked Red Racer IPAs. In addition, 25 cents from every pint of IPA sold at participating B.C. restaurants and pubs will be donated.
The fundraising initiative hits home for Darryll Frost, president and founder of Central City, as his five-year-old son Callum was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder, a type of autism, two years ago. Frost and his wife have seen great improvement in Callum’s development by combining a special diet with the hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
“The change in my son was night and day,” says Frost. “He was completely non-verbal and low functioning, throwing tantrums, beating and hurting himself, displaying aggressive behaviour and non-communicative. But with treatment, he is now a happy five-year-old, who is able to communicate, laugh, perform everyday things like dressing and feeding himself and is even going to kindergarten with the help of an aid.”
Convinced of HBOT’s positive effects, the Frosts teamed up with SFU to facilitate research on how the therapy works for children with autism.
The autism HBOT-MEG study at SFU is the first in Canada that specifically studies the effectiveness of using hyperbaric oxygen therapy on children with autism. Included in the research is the use of MEG neuroimaging to evaluate whether HBOT can positively impact brain activity underlying cognition and behaviour in children with autism.
The team of SFU researchers includes Dr. Ryan D’Arcy, one of the world’s foremost neuroscientists, and Sherri Ferguson, Director of SFU’s Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit (EMPU), home to Canada’s only civilian research hyper/hypobaric chamber.
This year, SFU has recruited Dr. Sam Doesburg as the holder of the Callum Frost Professorship in Translational Research in Autism. Doesburg will implement a translational research program in autism that will leverage recent breakthroughs in network neuroimaging and computational neuroscience to make meaningful improvements in the lives of people with autism and other neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Autism now affects one in 68 children. Since 2012, Central City has raised $175,000 for autism research. The company also plans to organize an autism fundraising auction later this year.
For more information on the IPA for Autism fundraising initiative, visit www.centralcitybrewing.com