BBD Editor: Dan Hope
It’s been a year full of highs and lows for the Buffalo Bills, but even moreso for the greatest quarterback in franchise history, Jim Kelly. Both the Bills community and Kelly had reason to celebrate Thursday, when the legendary signal-caller announced he is cancer-free.
“This is some of the greatest news I’ve ever gotten,” Kelly said in a statement, according to BuffaloBills.com. “It’s been a long road, and I’m still not back to one hundred percent, but I have a lot to be thankful for.”
Kelly underwent a series of biopsies in New York City last week, from which the results came back negative today, enabling Kelly to finally declare himself cancer-free.
The Bills great had been battling cancer since June 2013, when he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. He had surgery that month to remove the upper portion of his jaw, where the cancer was isolated, but the disease recurred this March. His battle to stay healthy has been heavily documented throughout the past 15 months, both in times of hopefulness and when the prognosis looked bleaker.
Kelly’s battle came with no shortage of support from the people who cared about him.
The closeness of his family, which endured the loss of his son Hunter when Hunter succumbed to Krabbe disease in 2005, has been apparent throughout the process. On Thursday, Kelly’s wife Jill shared a video on Instagram of her husband telling their daughter, Erin, that he had beat cancer.
Kelly, who played his entire 11-year NFL career for the Bills, also received immense support from the community of that team he led to four AFC Championship and for whom he compiled 35,467 passing yards and 237 touchdowns. Many current and former players passed along their best wishes to Kelly throughout his battle. Kelly also received a great deal of support from Bills fans, who gave him a rousing standing ovation at this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction and often expressed their thoughts for Kelly through the social media hashtags #KellyTough and #PrayersForJK.
Those who have offered encouragement for Kelly were able to express joy and relief Thursday.
Jim Kelly’s biopsies were negative. Wow…just wow…
— Steve Tasker (@SteveTasker89) September 4, 2014
Great news I just heard……#KellyTough God is great!!!!!!!! So happy for the whole Kelly Family……Love the Reeds….
— Andre Reed (@Andre_Reed83) September 4, 2014
— Erin Kelly (@erinkelly12) September 4, 2014
— Jill Kelly (@HJKforever) September 4, 2014
Kelly, in his statement, expressed gratitude.
“I am so thankful for the support and prayers of my family, my friends near and far, and everyone in Western New York and throughout the country through my illness. I also want to thank the medical specialists who have done such amazing work. Most of all, I want to thank God. Without my faith and God’s constant presence, there would be no such thing as ‘Kelly Tough’.”
Tags: Jim Kelly