A local radio DJ is recovering after an extensive mouth cancer surgery. His career as a DJ may be over, but his station is helping him get through recovery and pay for those expensive hospital bills.
UPDATE/YAKIMA, WA - The JB Pay For Play Day raised more than $15,000.00 for Joel Baker. Also donations online are more than $6,000.00.
In a press release, the radio station said "JB's has been listening from his hospital room in Seattle keeping in contact with the KXDD control room by text saying 'My wife and I are in tears' and 'I can't believe the Double D Nation. Unreal'"
You can still donate online or at the radio station in Downtown Yakima.
YAKIMA, WA - "How can something like this happen to someone who is a radio DJ, to have cancer in your mouth, said Charlie Brooks from KXDD.
Joel Baker made his name in Yakima as a radio DJ on KXDD New Country over the past 12-years.
Now he is in a hospital bed in Seattle recovering from surgery that removed cancer from his mouth.
"It's been going on for a long time because this is the second time that he has had cancer," Brooks said.
Baker, or JB as people know him, was diagnosed with mouth cancer more than a year ago. Doctors thought they removed his tumor the first time, but they were wrong.
"Finally they did find it on the back of his tongue. This time sadly is was stage-4 so he had about a 12-hour operation in Seattle last Friday and the doctors do believe they got all the cancer," said Dewey Boynton from KXDD.
Now the radio station is taking action, they are collecting donations to help pay for his hospital bills and recovery.
"Anybody who's had an experience with cancer knows there's a tremendous financial difficulty even with insurance so we're just trying to do everything we can because he's been our bud here for 12-years," Boynton said.
And since the surgery removed a large portion of his tongue, his career on air is now over.
"Sadly that part of his life is over with, there is going to be a new chapter written and he doesn't know what right now. His focus is being there so he can be a father to his kids and a husband to his wife," Boynton said.
"A long road of recovery and no one knows for sure what will happen in his life, but he's such a positive, wonderful, strong asset to our team and to our community," Brooks said.
And so far...the support has been overwhelming
"This community has embraced him in such a way that it really touches your heart," Brooks said.