Jim Kelly may have never won the big game during his career, but the Hall of Famer has now beaten cancer twice in two years.
The former Buffalo Bills quarterback announced Thursday that the follow-up biopsies for his recurrence of jaw cancer came back negative.
“This is some of the greatest news I’ve ever gotten,” Kelly said in a statement. “It’s been a long road, and I’m still not back to 100 percent, but I have a lot to be thankful for.”
Doctors last month had determined that several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation had eliminated all sign of cancer. But before he could be completely cleared of cancer Jim Kelly needed biopsies on several other areas of his jaw.
“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,” Kelly said. “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.’ ”
Jim Kelly was first diagnosed with cancer last year, and after having surgery doctors declared him cancer free. But this spring the cancer came back, and the prognosis initially looked grim.
Kelly was backed by countless fans in Western New York and across the country, who signed get well cards and sent wishes via social media. Kelly’s wife Jill kept fans informed through blog posts, repeatedly asking that fans pray for Jim and for the family.
Even during his illness, Jim Kelly has remained active in the Buffalo Bills franchise. After the death of owner Ralph Wilson, Kelly has been trying to get into the team bidding process, and reportedly met with potential ownership teams hoping to join in with them.In recent years Jim Kelly has vowed to fans to do all he can to keep the team in Buffalo, even amid reports that the team could be moved to Los Angeles or Toronto.
With Jim Kelly now officially cancer free, Buffalo Bills fans have their first bit of good news. During the past offseason the team has endured the death of Wilson, the uncertainty of a sale to a new owner who could move the team, Kelly’s cancer diagnosis and a season-ending injury to standout linebacker Kiko Alonso.