Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Sunday, more than 100 motorcyclists drove around Columbia to raise money for one of their own.
Elliot Willis spent 28 years in law enforcement teaching men and women how to protect and serve. He was recently diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and it makes it difficult to inhale.
"I use to work with Elliot and he was just such a great guy. When I found out about his illness I thought he has given so much to the community that we need to give back to him," said Josie De Gennaro.
Friends and strangers came together to raise money to help him with his medical costs.
"This is a special ride because I worked with Elliot at the Criminal Justice Academy. He gave his heart and soul to law enforcement for the community and I think it is time that the community to give back to people who gave so much for them," said David Black.
David Black is the president of the Blue Knights. He and more than 100 other bikes came together and rode in a hope ride for Elliot.
"This warms my heart to see a lot of people in the community getting involved," said Black.
For Elliot, he says its an overwhelming feeling.
"I would have never guessed in a million years that we would have had a group come together like this, not just folks I use to work with at Richland County but other people as well," said Willis.
He says he just takes it one day at a time; it's the support from everyone around him that keeps him going.
"The main thing you have to do is keep hope and my wife helps me with that, my faith helps me with that and that is how I do it. I keep thinking on day I will be back on my motorcycle," said Willis.
It's a long fight to get back on his bike, but he says he will never give up on everyone who believes in him.
"I am just overwhelmed and extremely thankful."