Community rallies around Troup County deputy fighting cancer

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LaGRANGE, Ga (WRBL)- The American Journal of Medicine says, more than 42 percent of people diagnosed with cancer from 2000 to 2012 drained their life’s assets within two years.

To make sure that didn’t happened to one of their dedicated deputies, The Troup County Sheriffs Office hosted a benefit ride.

It took just under eight minutes for these bikes, jeeps and hot rods to roll out of Elks Lodge in a benefit ride for a Troup County Deputy who was diagnosed with cancer.

Deputy Billy Baker was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer about 6 weeks ago.. He’d already used all of his leave and lacked disability insurance so his work family and friends decided to throw a fundraiser to support his financial needs.

“Im just about speechless. I cannot believe that all of these people came out for me,” said Deputy Baker.

Baker says after conducting a traffic stop with his partner, he didn’t feel so good.

“I told one of the other officers ‘I need to go sit down for a bit, I think I’m a little bit too hot.’  The next day, I felt even worse and worse. And finally I had to go to the ER that Wednesday cause my chest and stomach area was hurting so badly and that’s when they discovered the two large masses,” said Baker.

Depsite the bad news, Baker has been in good spirits.. Lt. Nathan Taylor describes him as dedicated.

“He’s one of the hardest working officers I know. He’s 57 years old but he can keep up with the 22-23 year old officers,” said Taylor.

To raise money, the sheriff’s office, Jackson Services, and the Blue Knights of Georgia held a live auction, sold t-shirts and meal tickets.

At 11 o’clock, bikers, jeeps and hot rods started their engines as they set to ride throughout LaGrange.

Baker and his wife stood alongside and waved as each driver passed them.
He says he the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes and possibly over to the liver and pancreas area.

“You know the diagnosis is poor.. but God has it in his hands,” Baker said.

Sheriff James Woodruff says there was an estimated 300 bikers at the event..

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