"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.
"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."
Hillman battled a rare form of cancer, renal medullary carcinoma, that predominantly afflicts the sickling of the red blood cells and affects the kidney. He was diagnosed with the disease in August.
Former Denver defensive lineman Derek Wolfe revealed Wednesday that Hillman was in hospice care with liver cancer and pneumonia. Hillman played alongside Wolfe in Denver from 2012 to 2015. They were teammates on the Broncos' 2015 team that won Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers.
Hillman had fallen ill in recent years, and his condition worsened recently. Wolfe joined 104.3 The Fan in Denver and said that Hillman's situation had turned critical.
"He's got bad liver cancer and he's in hospice now," Wolfe said. "It's not looking good. He has pneumonia and I'm putting it out there just to send positive vibes his way."
Wolfe said Hilliman was a great teammate, and he was an even better person away from the team facility.
"Great football player, great person, great teammate, just an all around great dude," Wolfe said.
Former Broncos offensive lineman Orlando Franklin also asked for people to support Hillman.
"#BroncosCountry please pray for Ronnie Hillman he's in hospice and not doing well," Franklin tweeted.
The Broncos drafted Hillman out of San Diego State in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Hillman rushed for 330 yards and a touchdown, but his best season came in the team's Super Bowl campaign. In 2015, Hillman rushed for 863 yards, caught 24 passes for 111 yards and scored a total of seven touchdowns.
Hillman finished his NFL career in 2016, splitting the season between the San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings.