Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback, Jim Kelly, was informed by doctors on Wednesday that he is cancer free once again.
Kelly’s wife, Jill, posted a picture on Instagram featuring the former Miami Hurricanes and Buffalo Bills great giving two thumbs up after receiving confirmation that traces of his oral cancer had been completely removed after months of treatment.
The football legend had a phenomenal career in the NFL as a seven-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro team member and most memorably, a four-time AFC champion.
However, when Kelly’s NFL career was finished, personal challenges took over his life. His son, Hunter, died as a result of Krabbe disease at the age of eight in August 2005.
Then, in a sick turn of events, Jim Kelly also began facing serious health problems.
In 2013, he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a form of cancer, in his upper jaw. In 2014, he announced he had contracted MRSA within his bones, and in March of this year, his oral cancer had returned.
What was the common result of all these potentially fatal diseases? Much like the NFL teams Kelly went to war against, they were beaten.
Kelly’s resilience these past years led him to be honored at ESPN’s ESPY Awards show last week with the Jimmy V Award, an award given to “a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination.”
“I urge anybody out there if you have somebody out there who is suffering — it doesn’t have to be cancer — it could be somebody not having a good day. It could be your mom, your dad, it could be your grandparents … what you say to them and the smile you have on your face, that could be the difference in them making it the next day,” Kelly said during his emotional speech after accepting the award. “Always, always persevere. Like Jimmy V said, ‘Never, ever give up.'”
Kelly and his family have devoted much of their time to the Kelly for Kids Foundation and Hunter’s Hope, two organizations that promote awareness and encourages activism that aids disadvantaged and disabled youth.