Fans and friends rally to help radio artist Joe Frank

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Mark Campbell Creative via Wikimedia/Creative Commons



Mark Campbell Creative via Wikimedia/Creative Commons

Frank rehearses for a spoken-word show in 2010. The monologist and storyteller is accepting donations as he recovers from an illness. (Photo: Mark Campbell Creative via Wikimedia/Creative Commons)

An online campaign is raising funds for radio artist Joe Frank, who has been recovering from an illness for the past month and needs help paying for care.

Frank’s wife Michal Story launched a GoFundMe campaign Monday that so far has raised more than $34,000 from 300-plus donors. According to the page, donations to the Joe Frank Medical & Recovery Fund will pay for medications not covered by insurance totaling about $6,000, as well as a full-time attendant. Frank’s insurance payments are also likely to go up.

The page says that Frank became ill in December. It does not disclose the illness, but Story wrote that Frank has dealt with health problems throughout his life. He has survived three occurrences of cancer, received a kidney donated from his cousin ten years ago, and suffers from severe scoliosis.

Frank has produced more than 200 radio programs for NPR and for KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif. His unique work consists of dark, surrealist monologues and stories. Most recently, he has been contributing to KCRW’s show Unfictional.

The GoFundMe campaign has brought in donations and well-wishes from KCRW colleague Warren Olney, host and e.p. of Public Radio International’s To the Point and KCRW’s Which Way, L.A.?, and Harry Shearer, the actor and Simpsons voice whose Le Show previously originated from KCRW.

Shearer wrote, “Joe, you haven’t influenced me — I could never even begin to approximate what you do — but you have immeasurably enriched my life. I wish you strength and joy.”

As of this posting, the GoFundMe campaign goal is $100,000.

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