For a generation of radio listeners in Atlanta, he’s a household name. Now, many are saying prayers as Steve McCoy, who has suffered from Parkinson’s Disease for several years, has entered hospice care, local media reported on Thursday.
McCoy first gained popularity in Atlanta at WZGC-FM in 1981, as it became a Top 40 station that eventually siphoned listeners from WQXI. In 1987, he moved to a new crosstown rival, WAPW “Power 99,” which quickly surged to become the top Contemporary Hit Radio station in the market, forcing “Z93” to switch to Classic Rock as WQXI-FM would become WSTR “Star 94.”
It was at Power 99 that McCoy first teamed up with longtime co-host Vikki Locke.
And, they were together for 18 years at Star 94 under Lee Chesnut and Tony Novia; Steve & Vikki in 2010 moved to WSB-FM “B98.5.” Yet, it was in 2006 that McCoy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, WSB-2 reports.
Co-workers and friends were unaware of McCoy’s diagnosis until he revealed it to them in 2015, when he was 61 years old.
To help defray medical costs, a GoFundMe page has been established — largely thanks to Locke. “Steve’s family has not asked for financial support but his longtime co-host Vikki Locke, who remains very close to Steve and his family, shared the catastrophic financial realities of caring for someone with a disease that often has a drawn-out decline,” the page reads. “A caregiver comes for 8 hours so his wife can keep her job and their son is his other caregiver. Money is spent on the caregiver which is thousands per month, and multiple medications, some of which can cost over one thousand dollars per month with a coupon. Steve has suffered multiple falls, broken bones, dislocated shoulders and has endured surgeries.”
As for his quality of life, “Steve’s nights are filled with violent tremors and sweating. He has lost his famous radio voice and at best can whisper on some days. His hospital bed is set up so that he can look out his window and see the trees.”
As of 4:30pm Eastern on Thursday, some $50,898 from 818 donors had been collected. Funds raised will be split 50/50 with a non-profit that provides financial support for caregiving. The Atlanta Neuroscience Foundation has been chosen to receive the funds that will be used to help families with caregiving expenses.
Furthermore, a benefit comedy show will be held at The Atlanta Punchline on Sunday, August 27 at 7pm. Tickets are $75 and the money raised will be shared with local Parkinson’s nonprofits and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Purchase tickets to the comedy show may be purchased at punchline.com.
Locke said to GoFundMe organizer Jaye Watson, “It’s hard describing a relationship that is longer than my marriage. I’ve watched his kids grow up. I’ve met his grandchildren. To see his body broken like this is gut-wrenching. Steve has two great loves…his family first, and radio. Entertaining Atlanta for decades gave him great joy as did helping the community. Now it’s our turn to give back.”