Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly has appealed for prayers after announcing that his cancer has returned. Kelly has had a number of health issues over the past few years, overcoming cancer of the jaw and a subsequent MRSA infection. Then, a few months back, Jim had to have his gallbladder removed at the same time his wife was hospitalized with pneumonia.
Kelly announced the return of his cancer in a statement through his publicist, saying that he was “shocked and deeply saddened.” He added: “As our family has faced many trials and triumphs throughout the years, you have blessed us with your prayers. We are asking for those prayers once again,” Kelly said. “With all of you by my side, we will fight and win this battle together.”
Kelly concluded by saying that his family was “staying ‘Kelly Tough’ and trusting God will carry us through this difficult time.”
A few days ago, Kelly’s daughter Erin posted an emotional update on Instagram:
“Words feel inadequate.
Truthfully, it’s hard to even comprehend that I’m writing this…
My dad’s cancer is back.
I don’t understand. But I have to choose to hold onto the only thing I am sure of… Jesus.
I know my dad and I know our family…with Your strength, he will continue to persevere and fight like never before and we will fight right along with him…knowing that You have already won the war. Because of You we always have hope!”
Although we don’t know what tomorrow holds, today we choose to trust the One who holds tomorrow.
“Want to thank everybody so much for their continued support of my journey through my cancer. I hope you all realize that the prayers make such a big difference. We all are a team , KELLY TOUGH TEAM. Thank you,” Jim posted to the social networking site.
Jim’s wife, Jill, also posted to Instagram:
The cancer is back. We are shocked, heartbroken, sad, angry, confused, and just darn tired. Yet, despite how we feel, we KNOW that God is a promise maker and keeper. He is who He says He is! He can do what He says He can do! We don’t have to understand His ways to trust His heart. The battle is HIS. (Exodus 14:14) We need you… In addition to our faith, family, and friends…we really need you and your prayer warrior friends to pray. We’re all in this together. THANK YOU! The more life and heartbreak I experience, the more I realize that this is not the end of the story. Life is temporary. And short. But eternity…is FOREVER. Because we know that our eternity is secure in Christ, we can trust God with every breath upon this earth.
Many players from Jim’s former club, including the Buffalo Bills franchize itself, have sent messages of support to the star QB and his family. “Jim is a tough and courageous man, and we know he will fight this battle with strength and determination,” the Bills said in a statement released by the team,” as reported by CBN. “The Buffalo Bills will support the Kelly family during this trying time, and we ask our fans to pray for the family, as Jim beings the treatment process and the road to recovery.”
Just two days after his cancer announcement, Jim spoke at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation dinner, delivering some staggeringly inspirational remarks. “I go, ‘Hey, I’m not dead. If I can still go, I’m going,'” Kelly told the crowd, as reported by Buffalo News.
Kelly said that he had a fishing tournament Sunday in Miami that he had no intention of missing.
“Hey, my surgery (for the removal of a tumor in his upper right jaw and reconstruction of his entire upper jaw) isn’t until the end of the month,” he said. “If the good Lord decides tomorrow’s my day, hey, I’m going out with a fish in one hand and a cup of beer in the other.”
Kelly talked of getting his first cancer diagnosis back in 2013.
“All of a sudden, I didn’t know where it was going, wasn’t sure I was going to make it,” the former Superbowl player said. “But one thing my family did and I just urge everyone in this room, if you’re going to see someone — they don’t have to have cancer — not one time did my family ever walk into my hospital room with a frown on their face. They walked in with an attitude that they were going to make my day better by their presence and what they said each and every day. And, boy, did that make a difference.
It’s @JimKelly1212 telling his story on an inspirational night @Lombardi_Fdn Ball. Tonight we are all #KellyStrong as he talks about his third serious battle with cancer #Bills #NFL pic.twitter.com/Mn2igy9a93
— Lance Allan (@lanceallan) March 4, 2018
“My family knew I was going to fight through, they knew I was going to beat it and, more importantly, me in my heart knew I was going to beat it,” he added.
Though the return of his cancer is understandably concerning, Jim is choosing to remain positive.
“If I can make a difference for you, I know what you’ve done for me,” Kelly said. “I live by this motto: Make a difference today for someone who is fighting for their tomorrow.”
“I have no room to complain,” the former Bill’s QB said, as reported by the Associated Press. “If tomorrow the good Lord decides that’s my last day, then I’m not going to go down with a frown. I’m going down with a smile on my face, knowing that I’ve gotten everything out of life.”
“I might have lost four Super Bowls in a row, but I’ve kicked cancer’s (butt) twice,” Kelly told Buffalo News during a phone interview on Friday. “And I plan on making it a third, with the grace of God.”