Online fundraiser surpasses $20,000 for former Del Mar fire chief’s wife


An online fundraiser has collected more than $20,000 for Janet Baker, wife of former Del Mar Fire Chief Jim Baker, after she was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia.

According to the campaign’s GoFundMe page, the Bakers have spent $143,000 on medical bills not covered by their insurance, and Janet currently resides in a memory care facility in Escondido. The fundraiser goal is $100,000.

“Everyone who knows him can tell you a story of how he has helped or inspired them in one way or another,” wrote Beatriz Cauzza, a friend of the Bakers who organized the GoFundMe, on the fundraisers web page. “In return I would love to help raise this money for all his future medical bills towards his wife’s care in this very difficult time.”

Lewy body dementia is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Mayo Clinic, and causes protein deposits to accumulate in the parts of the brain that control thinking, memory and motor control.

At Del Mar City Council’s Nov. 18 meeting, City Councilman Dwight Worden mentioned that Baker worked his way up from firefighter to captain to chief during his time in Del Mar. Mayor Dave Druker encouraged residents to visit the GoFundMe page if they are interested in supporting the Bakers.

“Chief Baker was extremely important to our city for years,” he said.

For more information and to donate, visit

--Report by Luke Harold