MEET ROLAND Gainer, a 22-year-old from Michigan, who has raised over $100k after learning his Uber driver was battling terminal cancer.
During a recent 12-minute drive, Roland learned his driver Ken Wayne Broskey was battling elevated stage 4 cancer, and that he had picked up the Uber job to try to pay off the house he shares with his daughter, a waitress, and grandchildren.
In early April, doctors gave Ken Wayne two to 10 weeks to live, and they have urged him to consider hospice instead of working.
When Roland, a student at Washtenaw Community College, learned why the 70-year-old picked up the Uber job, he “just felt compelled to help,” he said in the video.
The student said Ken Wayne’s story reminded him of his own mother’s battle with cancer when he was in high school.
He set up a Go Fund Me account to raise $90,000 to pay off Broskey’s house, and within seven days, more than 3,700 people raised nearly $102,340.
“I’m very comfortable with dying,” Ken Wayne said in a YouTube video detailing his battle with oropharyngeal cancer with lung mestases. “It’s just like I told Roland: If I could be in my deathbed knowing that my daughter is taken care of, it’d make dying much easier.”
Roland, whose effort has since gained traction on the national stage, also caught Uber’s attention after Detroit News covered the fundraiser. The company sent an email to riders and drivers, vowing to donate $1 to the fund for every person who used the code UberPartnerKen in the promotion box for their Uber ride.
Within 24 hours of Uber beginning their supplementary donation campaign Tuesday, April 14, Ken’s Go Fund Me account increased from $2,000 to about $17,000, Anderson said.
Now that Gainer has met his goal, he has decided to turn away further donations.
“We will be able to save Ken’s house for his daughter and grandchildren,” Roland wrote on the Go Fund Me page. “Because we have achieved our goal, and there is such great need in all of our communities, we are declining further donations to allow other causes to be supported.”