Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman has been placed in hospice care as he battles a rare cancer, according to reports.
Former Broncos offensive lineman Orlando Franklin wrote on Twitter: “Broncos Country please pray for Ronnie Hillman — he’s in hospice and not doing well.”
“He’s got bad liver cancer, and he’s in hospice now,” Derek Wolfe, a former Broncos defensive tackle, said on his radio show, The Drive.
“It’s not looking good. He has pneumonia, and I’m putting it out there just to send positive vibes his way,” Wolfe said, according to KKFN-FM.
“That’s awful news,” Brandon Stokley, another of Hillman’s former teammates, said.
Hillman is receiving hospice care, his family told TMZ.
In August, Hillman was found to have a form of kidney cancer, renal medullary carcinoma.
The statement described the disease as a “rare but highly aggressive neoplasm form of cancer that primarily affects young African Americans with sickle cell trait.”
“As a family, we hope beyond hope, and we have faith that can move mountains,” the family said, the outlet reported.
“We also understand that God’s will is not always ours; therefore, we as a family subject ourselves to the will of our Almighty God.”
“We need your prayers, but we also need your understanding and respect for Ronnie and our family’s privacy at this time,” the statement read.
Hillman played for the Broncos from 2012 to 2015 and for the San Diego State Aztecs football team.
Hillman played 48 games as part of the Broncos, during which he rushed for 1,845 yards with 12 touchdowns, According to KKFN.
“He had a slow start but really picked it up and contributed a lot during the Super Bowl year,” Stokley said.
The New York Post noted:
The best season Hillman saw with the Broncos was in 2015, when he rushed for 863 yards at a rate of 4.2 yards per carry and bagged seven touchdowns in the regular season on the way to the Super Bowl championship.
Wolfe praised Hillman as a “great football player, great person, great teammate,” and “an all-around great dude.”