Ronnie Hillman, a former NFL running back who was part of the Denver Broncos‘ championship run in Super Bowl 50, has passed away at age 31. Hillman’s family announced the news in a statement on Instagram late Wednesday night.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Hillman was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in August.
Hillman was diagnosed with renal medullary carcinoma, a “rare but highly aggressive neoplasm form of cancer that primarily affects young African Americans with sickle cell trait.”
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother & father, Ronnie K Hillman Jr. Ronnie quietly and peacefully transitioned today in the company of his family and close friends,” the statement read.
“We as the family, appreciate the prayers and kind words that have already been expressed. We ask that you would give us time to process our feelings as we prepare to lay our precious RJ to rest.”
During the 2015-16 Super Bowl season, Hillman recorded nearly 1,000 all-purpose yards and 7 touchdowns. The former third-round pick also had stints with the Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers, and Dallas Cowboys.
Our deepest condolences go out to Hillman’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult and tragic time.