(Arlington, TN) - Over 700 motorcyclists gathered Sunday afternoon for a fundraiser for a Shelby county Sheriff Deputy who is fighting cancer.
“It just wrenches my heart,” said Craig Smith, the recipient. “I had no idea that I had so many friends, people that really cared.”
Smith was chosen last year by the Tennessee Chapter of Wild Pigs to receive the money raised from their annual fundraiser but instead, he gave it up to another deputy also fighting cancer.
“He needed it more than I did,” Smith said. “He had family. His wife was pregnant. I had been on the force a long time and I had a lot of sick time left so I gave it up to him.”
“It just shows the kind of person that he is and the fact that he is a law enforcement officer. It's what we do and we try to take care of our own,” said Wild Pigs President, Tommy Arnold.
Taking care their own means riding motorcycles and raising money, something this group is clearly good at.
“They come out in droves every year and they buy tickets,” Arnold said. “They buy t-shirts, everything that they can to support and have a good time at the same time.”
In light of Smiths generosity last year, the group is making sure he gets money this year, considering the fact that a year later he is still battling two types of cancer.
As more surgery and treatment come, Smith will have to take months away from work, now possible because of the generosity of a band of brother and bikers.
“The money is going to help,” said Smith. “Again, I just feel funny. They're giving me all this money and I'm just overwhelmed.”
Smith is fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as well as a cancer in his kidneys. He will be heading to Vanderbilt later this month for surgery.