Local Wendy’s holding fundraiser for Kent State custodian battling cancer


Ken Howard, a custodian at Kent State, was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago. As well as working for the university, Howard has also invested the last 30 years into coaching youth football in the Kent and Ravenna area.

The Wendy’s on Main Street in Kent will be donating 10 percent of all sales made on Thursday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. to Ken Howard, a Kent State custodian who has been battling cancer.

Friends and Wendy’s Help Raise Money After Custodian Battled Cancer For Two Years from KentWired.com on Vimeo.

Howard was diagnosed with prostate cancer about two years ago. While receiving treatment, a blockage in his stomach was found, which began causing heart problems.

Howard has had to miss work to attend appointments, treatment sessions and surgeries. He has now run out of all available sick, vacation and compensatory time, according to James Jackson, Howard’s friend and coworker at Dix Stadium.

Jackson started a GoFundMe page for Howard. As of Wednesday, $175 has been raised for Howard’s treatment.

Jackson said that Howard has also been a youth football coach for the past 30 years, coaching teams in Kent and Ravenna.

“We’re just trying to give back to somebody who has given so much to the community,” Jackson said.

This past Thursday Howard had surgery performed to remove the blockage in his stomach. However, it was unsuccessful, according to Jackson. The day after surgery he had heart valve replacement surgery, which he is currently recovering from.

The proceeds from the Wendy’s fundraiser, as well as donation proceeds from GoFundMe, will be donated to Howard to help pay for insurance co-pays and the cost of traveling back and forth to see specialists and receive treatment in Cleveland.

“We just hope that people show up for him the way he’s showed up for them,” Jackson said.

Jackson said that details for a spaghetti dinner, scheduled for Saturday, May 6, will be announced after the Wendy’s event.

Donations to Jackson’s GoFundMe can be sent here: www.gofundme.com/ken-howard-medical-expense-fund.

Nicholas Hunter is a general assignment reporter, contact him at [email protected]. Aliah Keller is a reporter for TV2, contact her at [email protected].