12-year-old fan enjoys guest DJ stint with Marty and Amy on 99.9 KONY Country

Kennadi Gates introduces a song during her guest DJ appearance on the Marty and Amy morning show, 99.9 KONY Country, St. George, Utah, May 16, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Kennadi Gates, a 12-year-old country music fan, joined in Wednesday as a special guest DJ on the 99.9 KONY Country radio morning show with Marty and Amy.

Kennadi Gates and on-air personality Marty prepare for Kennadi’s guest DJ appearance on the Marty and Amy morning show, 99.9 KONY Country, St. George, Utah, May 16, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Kennadi, a sixth-grader at Lava Ridge Intermediate School, started off her morning shift by announcing the first song she chose to play on the air, “Vacation” by Thomas Rhett. She said the song reminded her that school is almost out for the summer and that she is looking forward to an upcoming trip to Orlando, Florida, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Kennadi shared with listeners that she was first diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia about two years ago and has since been undergoing chemotherapy treatments at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. She used to go up for treatments weekly, she said, but now her hospital visits are every three months.

Marty asked Kennadi if the treatments had affected her hair, commenting that she has a nice full head of brown curls.

“I did lose it, but it’s coming back in now,” Kennadi said, adding that her hair is darker and curlier than it was before.

A blindfolded Marty reacts to being fed jelly mixed with pepper during the 99.9 KONY Country morning show, St. George, Utah, May 16, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Soon, it was time to play the show’s popular game called “Touch, Taste or Smell.”

Kennadi joined Amy in the nearby break room whipping up a concoction of two different jellies mixed with cayenne pepper and black pepper.

Marty then put on a blindfold and took a call from a listener. The caller voted for “taste,” meaning Marty had to open his mouth while Kennadi fed him some of the mixture with a spoon.

“Ughh. What is that?” the barely intelligible Marty mumbled, trying not to spit out the jelly all over the sound mixing console as Kennadi and Amy laughed with delight.

Kennadi’s mother, Sue Gates, watched her daughter’s DJ experience from inside the KONY studio, as did Make-A-Wish representatives Celeste Sorensen and Troy Rivera. The event was also streamed live via station’s Facebook page, where video clips and photos can be seen.

“You’re such a natural,” Amy told Kennadi. “When you become a radio star, you’ll know who to thank!”

But Kennadi said she’s thinking about being a teacher or possibly a psychologist when she grows up.

Kennadi Gates laughs during her guest DJ appearance on the Marty and Amy morning show, 99.9 KONY Country, St. George, Utah, May 16, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Kennadi wrapped up her hourlong stint on the show with her favorite song from her favorite artist: Carrie Underwood’s “Champion.”

“That fits you, because you are a champion,” said Amy. “You are an inspiration to many, including us.”

As an added bonus, Amy invited Kennadi to be KONY’s special guest at its upcoming 4th of July Celebration concert featuring Scotty McCreery.

“We can fan girl together!” Amy told the visibly excited Kennadi.

Read more: Win tickets to 99.9 KONY Country’s ‘4th of July Celebration’ with Scotty McCreery before you can buy them

When asked what message she’d like to leave with listeners, Kennadi said, “Stay strong. Have faith.”

Amy agreed. “There’s good days ahead.”

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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