Frontline Responders: “The Kenman”

Updated: Oct. 16, 2022 at 9:31 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Since the mid-80s, “The Kenman” has been on the radio. He’s been on the airways in this area since the early 90s. He was recently diagnosed with cancer.

“I didn’t realize how many people listened and cared about me,” Ken Stokes explained. “I just thought I was doing a pretty easy job for me. You never know ith what kind of work you do, what kind of effect you have on people.”

Stokes started his career in Ellisville in 1985.

“My radio career didn’t really start until I got hired by Ken Rainey in ‘93,” Stokes said.

Between 1994 and 1999 it was “Doc and the Kenman” on Q-101. After a brief stint in Jackson, Ken came back to morning radio in Meridian.

“They couldn’t get rid of me,” Stokes explained. “I was there from 2009 up to when me and Cara took over. Right up until August we’ve been working together.”

In August, Ken was diagnosed with stage four metastatic prostate cancer. He said it all began with severe back pain, his kidneys were failing. Tests and scans revealed how bad it is. He’s decided that he’ll ride out.

“It was so advanced that it’s way beyond anything now. Basically, I’m just biding my time,” Stokes said.

Ken said that he brought on the situation himself by neglecting to go to the doctor. His wife of 19 years died in 2014 and he said he didn’t have someone there to encourage him get checkups.

“I try to tell people, don’t remember me from joking and laughing or anything like that,” Stokes said. “If I bring a smile, that’s fine, but remember me by going, ‘I need that prostate test. I don’t want to go through what Ken went through.’ That’s basically what I want to be remembered by.”