Football Legend Jim Kelly Faces Another Cancer Recurrence

Brielle Urciuoli

NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly confirmed his cancer has returned, according to recently issued statements from the Buffalo Bills.

“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. The oral cancer we hoped would be gone forever has returned,” he said.

This is not the first bout with cancer for the former Bills quarterback. In 2013, Kelly, who is now 58 years old, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and had complete removal of his upper jaw. After that, he was declared cancer-free, but the cancer came back less than a year later.

“The second time, in 2014, it was ‘OK, here comes the radiation. Here comes the chemo. Here come the tough parts.’ I was tested every single day. I didn’t know what to expect. When you hear ‘chemo,’ you automatically think throwing up and not feeling good. It came true – all those things just hit me hard. But, you know what? I know where I am now, and now I get it,” Kelly said in a 2017 interview with CURE.

The cancer came back again in 2016. At that time, he was given a 10 percent chance to live, but did not focus on that. Instead, the five-time Pro Bowler pushed ahead, saying that nothing scared him anymore.

Now, Kelly said that he will continue to gather strength from the “four Fs”: faith, family, friends and fans.

Kelly has his football alma mater behind him, too.

“We are deeply saddened to hear the news about Jim Kelly and his impending battle with cancer.  Jim is a tough and courageous man and we know he will fight this battle with strength and determination.  The Buffalo Bills will support the Kelly family during this trying time and we ask our fans to pray for the family as Jim begins the treatment process and the road to recovery,” the Bills said.

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