DETROIT (WJBK) - It's been five years since Detroit Police Officer Patrick Hill was killed in the line of duty. In that half decade since his death, his widow has been working to honor his memory by supporting local students.
Deodge Hill was a single mother to one child and remembers a professor expressing doubt at what she was working to achieve
"He said 'oh you've got this baby, I don't think you can take both of these classes together, there's no way you're gonna make it, I don't know why you are here.' I felt awful," Hill said.
Determined, Deodge finished her studies at the University of Michigan and would go on to marry her college sweetheart. Detroit Police Officer, Patrick Hill. In April of 2013, her life took an unexpected and tragic turn when Patrick was shot in the line of duty. He would die from his injuries five months later.
Today, she still wears a replica of his badge just to feel connected to him.
Deodge has never forgot what people told her she could not achieve. Now, she holds a yearly 5K Run and Walk through the PH1LL Foundation which honors her late husband and raises money to provide resources and financial support to single moms to show them what they can do
"Money goes directly to the foundation. I don't take a salary, nobody takes a salary then it goes right back out to the girls whether it's emergency scholarships or educational scholarships," Hill said.
Britney Slater is a recipient of funding from the foundation. Like Hill, people told her she would not finish college because of her baby.
"And here we are two years later and we're about to cross the stage in May. I say we because I ordered Logan a cap and gown as well," Slater said.
This year's 5K Walk/Run is Saturday April 7th and will also honor another fallen officer, Wayne State University Police Officer, Collin Rose
"Collin met with me after the first race. He was so excited he wanted to donate his K9 at Wayne State, to my husband, " Hill said.
Organizers say if you can't attend this year's event there's a number of ways you can donate to make a difference in someone's life
Deodge is a certified physicians assistant and since her husband's passing, she's joined forces with other medical professionals to open a practice. She hopes the yearly fundraiser will continue to raise money so single mothers can hear 'You Can' instead of 'You Can't'.
"You have to know in your heart that you're bigger than that and you can do anything you put your mind to," Hill said.