HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A veteran of the Huntsville Police Department recently learned he'll be facing a far more formidable battle than even that waged against local criminals -- his own body is threatening his life from within. But friends and colleagues are pitching in to help and you can be a part of the effort.
Khris "Gatur" Downing has been employed with the city of Huntsville for 18 years as a police officer. Just a few weeks ago Downing was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney failure - with stage 5 being the worst-case diagnosis.
Downing is married with 4 children and over past year has accumulated a lot of medical expenses. So Downing's colleague Lewis Hall, an HPD officer for 21 years, decided he needed to do something to help.
"Saturday we are going to do a benefit ride from here to Cool Springs, TN. to the Harley-Davidson dealership and they are going to provide lunch," Hall explains, "we're just trying to do a little something to raise a little money for him because he has a high volume of medical expenses."
Hall says you don't have to don leather chaps or own a Harley - even a donation and a show of solidarity will be much appreciated.
"We're inviting all bikers but you don't have to have a motorcycle of you want to participate - we want to have a big showing."
Hall at first kept his organizing of the benefit ride from Downing, saying if he knew, the officer would have likely tried to dissuade him. But Hall let the cat out of the bag once everything was in order.
"He was speechless. He was in tears when I told him. He was very happy about it," says Hall.
Participants plan to meet at the Shell gas station at University Drive and Jordan Lane Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
They ask each biker donate $20 and $10 for passengers.
For more information about the Khris Downing Benefit Bike Ride contact Lewis Hall at 256-603-9554.