Former Kent State graduate needs financial help from Kent State alumni to cover his medical bills.

Megan Corder

Former Kent State graduate and Olympic Gold Medalist Gerald Tinker suffered a mild stroke earlier this month and needs financial help from Kent State alumni to cover his medical bills.

Kim Delgado and Wendy Wheaton, friends of Tinker’s, organized the Gerald Tinker Fund to help ensure Tinker’s financial security during his recovery.

“We started the fund to give him time to recuperate,” Delgado said. “We’re trying to get him set up so that he has some kind of stability.”

Tinker, who works as a physical trainer, relies on his income on a day-to-day basis. Delgado, who is an actor and screenwriter, has contacted Kent State for alumni support.

“We are assisting in trying to make sure that he has a financial foundation to be able to pay his bills and that will be everything from therapy to medications to living expenses while he is rehabbing,” Delgado said.

Wheaton, a talent agent for film and television, believes that Tinker’s involvement in the community is benefiting the fund.

“He is very much in the community,” Wheaton said. “He is a dynamic kind of guy that has a lot of different relationships with people. From senior citizens, all the way to someone who is in high school — that shows potential.”

After graduating from Kent State in 1972, Tinker competed in the Olympics that year. He won a gold medal in the 4 x 100 men’s relay. Since his experience in the Olympics, he has played football for the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers.

Delgado, who wrote Gerald Tinker’s story for television, said that Tinker’s story intrigues him.

“His mom had Lyme disease and he didn’t have a father figure and he was very poor,” Delgado said. “And in spite of that, Gerald was the first African American to get scholarships to play two sports at Memphis State University.”

After two years at Memphis State, Tinker transferred to Kent State where he continued to play football and run track.

Delgado said Kent State alumni and the Kent community should visit geraldtinkerfund.chipin to donate to the fund.

Wheaton said, in the five years that she has known him, Tinker has always had a positive attitude and focuses on involving himself in the community.

“That is what I like about him,” Wheaton said. “He is just a very useful kind of guy, [with] the energy and the good vibe that he always gives everybody.”

Contact Megan Corder at [email protected].