TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The community is rallying around a popular Toledo DJ who is off the air after complications during surgery.
DJ Grizzly Brown is the familiar voice coming through the airwaves during your afternoon drive.
"When they listen to my show, they aren't hearing about the same old traffic backups," Grizzly said. "I want to take the reality out of that afternoon drive."
Grizzly has been on the radio in Toledo for 23 years and has spent the last five years with 94.5 WXKR Classic Rock.
"He is like listening to an old friend," said listener Becca Incledon. "He is exceedingly real and he doesn't sugar coat things."
Four months ago, Grizzly went off the air and was admitted into the hospital.
"In May I had surgery on my leg and it turned into a bad infection," Grizzly said. "They were going to cut off my leg."
After being in a rehabilitation center, Grizzly suffered two strokes and said he has nearly $2 million in medical bills.
"It has been very hard for me," he said.
His loyal listeners have stepped in and supported a fundraiser called "Green for Griz" held Wednesday at Ye Olde Cock-n-Bull downtown.
"He has helped everyone else out and it's time to help him out," said friend and listener Henry Jaeger.
Dozens of people donated to silent auctions and 50-50 raffles. Cock-n-Bull also donated a portion of all proceeds to help cover Grizzly's medical expenses.
"No one deserves to go through what he has been through," said Sarah Mettler, the owner of Cock-n-Bull. "He has been a staple in the community and this is our chance to give back."
"I am very humbled," said Grizzly. "I got listeners all over the place and they are the best."
At this point, he says it's not clear when he will be back on air.
"It's been really hard the past few months without having my daily fix of Grizz." said Incledon.
"I have to get back to work," Grizzly said. "Without WXKR, I wouldn't ever be the same again."
To make a donation, text "Give Grizz" to 44321.