Man rides motorcycle to Maryland to raise awareness for lung disease after mom's death

Richard Reeve/ABC7

For Will Tucker, this is no ordinary motorcycle ride.

“Think about ways you can try to make her proud,” Will Tucker said. “Think about ways to make Mother's Day not so awful.”

It's a loving tribute to his mother Julie Gray, who passed away in March, at age 53.

“It’s phenomenal how quick it went from a healthy lady to fighting for her life,” said Dan Gray, Julie’s husband and Will’s step-father.

In February, Julie Gray was diagnosed with acute interstitial pneumonitis, a lung condition that causes respiratory failure and death.

“The doctors have no clue where it comes from, they have no treatment and there is no cure,” Tucker said.

The suddenness of the diagnosis, and Gray’s passing, devastated her family.

Tucker, who lives in Minneapolis, began a social media crowd-funding campaign, with a goal to ride to Crofton to raise awareness and money.

“I woke up, and I had $3,000 raised,” Tucker said. “It was unbelievable, so overwhelming the amount of support and love that I got.”

With his dog McKenzie in a sidecar, Tucker began a 15,000-mile, week-long journey, stopping at Lambeau Field, the upper peninsula in Michigan, Detroit and Cleveland.

“Kind of a cool testimony to your wife,” Dan Gray said. “Oh my gosh, it's unbelievable, it’s unbelievable.”

And along the journey, Tucker says he learned a lot about himself and the power of love on this Mother's Day weekend.

“Just take the time to appreciate everyone that you have in your lives,” Tucker said. “Whether it's your mom or your dad or your family or whoever it is, take the time to love and appreciate them.”

For more, visit To donate to his mother's fundraiser, visit here.

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