When 69-year-old grandfather Kenneth Broskey was told that he had about 10 weeks to live, his response was to continue working as an Uber driver. Despite recommendations that he take greater care of his health, Broskey’s primary concern was that his family members have a place to live after he dies, and stage 4 cancer of the head, throat and lung wouldn’t stop him.
"Once I pass away, chances are my daughter, who’s a part-time waitress at a small restaurant in Livonia, will lose the house we live in because she won't be able to afford it anymore," Broskey said to ABC News. "So I'm doing everything for her and my grandkids at this point. When you find out you're dying, you realize your family and friends are so important."
Broskey still had $95,000 to pay off on his mortgage when he fatefully met 22-year-old student Roland Gainer, whom he had picked up for an Uber ride.
The two began talking and eventually touched upon Broskey’s health and financial situation. Gainer himself is no stranger to cancer; his mother battled and eventually beat cancer while he was in high school and he remembers feeling helpless during her ailment. Moved by Broskey’s circumstances and determination, Gainer helped him get in contact with a communications expert named Karen Dumas, and then on Apr. 13, the three of them created a GoFundMe account for Broskey. A Twitter campaign using the hashtag #UberPartnerKen was also launched to help raise awareness.
“After learning of Ken’s situation, it is my hope that you will help us save Ken’s house for the sake of his family,” wrote Gainer on the GoFundMe page. “…For Ken, if we could buy him time, that would be our request, but we can’t. We can, however, using our relationships and resources help to give him peace—and his family their home--in his final days.”
The donations came in quickly and the effort raised more than $17,000 in the first day.
Even Uber Detroit got involved and donated $5,000 of the initial $17,000, promising to donate an additional $1 for every Uber rider who used the promo code “UberPartnerKen” with their app through Apr. 20.
As of now, the GoFundMe page has raised over $101,000 of the $95,000 needed to pay off the mortgage for the ranch where Broskey, his daughter and his two grandkids live.
Gainer says that he and Broskey have become “tight friends.”
"I admire him so much," Gainer said to ABC News. "Oh my god, his love for his family is limitless. This man is dying of cancer, and yet he's still out there driving an Uber cab just for his family every day. That's indescribable love."
Image source: Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures/ Flickr