The community in West Georgia is coming to the aid of a Troup County Sheriff’s deputy who is battling Stage 4 esophageal cancer.
>>LISTEN TO SANDRA PARRISH’S FULL ON-AIR REPORT BELOW.
Struggles with cancer are nothing new for Deputy Billy Baker. The 35-year veteran lawman just went through the battle with his wife of three years. Misty Baker was diagnosed with ovarian cancer within a few days of their wedding in 2016. Just as she fully recovered, Billy got the devastating news he had just three months to live.
“We’ve got this great love story that keeps getting interrupted by cancer,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
Baker used up most of his vacation and sick days at the sheriff’s department to care for his wife. Now as he undergoes treatment to save his own life, he has no more paychecks coming in.
“We’re still paying for her cancer treatment. There’s a stack of bills in there just for her and now I’m starting a new stack,” he says.
On top of it all, Baker was told he can’t begin collecting Social Security disability payments for at least five months—two months later than the time doctors told him he has left to live.
But he says where the government has let him down, the community and the Troup County Sheriff’s Department is stepping up with fundraising efforts.
The Billy Baker Benefit Fund has been set up at the Colony Bank in LaGrange, and The Troup County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson Services, and the Blue Knights of Georgia are hosting a motorcycle / Jeep / Hot Rod ride, along with an auction at the Elk’s Lodge in LaGrange on August 10th. Anyone wanting more information can contact Lt. Nathan Taylor at 706-883-1616 or email email@example.com.
“I’ll never be able to say ‘thank you’ enough,” says Baker, who hopes to return to the sheriff’s department and continue doing what he loves if even for a short time. “I want to walk out on my terms not cancer’s terms.”