OC Radio Personality Benny The Breeze Broke His Neck and Needs Your Help

If you consider yourself a fan of local radio in OC, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed the recent absence of one of its loudest, gravelly voiced personalities—89.5 KTST FM’s Benny “The Breeze” Brezarich. A long time lord of all things metal, Benny The Breeze’s weekend show the Sunday Night Send-Off has long been a bastion for local musicians. It’s one of the few places to get free airplay, late night interviews and to enjoy a cold brew or two off the air between tracks while the veteran radio host regales them with his rock’n’roll war stories largely culled from the Aqua Net ‘80s.

Recently we learned that Brezarich broke some bones and is in need of our help.

While doing some electrical work on the his studio building the week before Thanksgiving, the radio DJ fell out of of an 8-foot drop ceiling and hit the concrete floor, landing on his head and neck.

“I was up on the ceiling pulling some wire through to the board and while I was on my knees I missed turning around and it felt like someone pushed me out of the ceiling, but it was only my fault anyway,” Brezarich says during a recent phone call while laid up in a full neck brace. He’s recently been allowed to return home after being rushed to the UCI Trauma Center in Orange where doctors told him he’d fractured his spine around his neck. They immediately operated on him to repair damage to his T1-C6 vertebrae. Doctors told him that his injuries were inches away from causing permanent paralysis.

“Now I have rods and screws holding it together,” Brezarich says. “I can walk and talk, I’m not paralyzed but the recovery is gonna take a while because of the nerve damage that was sustained.” 

No doubt the Breeze got lucky. Unfortunately his lack of insurance has left him unable to pay his mounting medical bills. Current expenses include a one week stay in the Trauma Center and surgery. Forthcoming expenses include rehab and a may include a possible follow up surgery.

His show producer Zach Cortez recently launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising a whopping $50,000. Brezarich says any surplus from the campaign will go to the UCI Trauma Center. “No amount is too small,” he wrote in the campaign’s description. “I greatly appreciate any and all help in the matter.”
In the meantime, the Breeze vows to get back out there and return to the mic…talking is one of the few functions he’s still pretty good at. He says he’s in good spirits and plans to get back to his radio show as soon as possible.

“I’m gonna see how long I’m supposed to keep the neck brace on, as soon as my partner comes back from vacation we’re gonna finish all the electrical stuff and get back on the air,” Brezarich says. “I can’t just sit dormant, I’m not one of those dormant dudes.”

If you’re able to donate to the cause to help The Breeze get back on his feet, please donate here.

Another fundraiser is also being planned for him at Ed’s Stumble Inn in Fountain Valley Jan. 27.

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