Retired pro football quarterback Jim Kelly is seeking treatment for an aggressive recurrence of cancer, with family and friends reporting that this health is deteriorating rapidly.
Kelly was diagnosed with jaw cancer last year and had surgery to remove part of his upper jaw. Doctors deemed him cancer free after the surgery, but close to two weeks ago they determined that it had come back.
Jim's wife, Jill Kelly, updated fans about the NFL great's progress, saying the family is remaining upbeat despite the struggle ahead.
"Cataloging a litany of appointment dates & times, scans, blood-work, diagnostic tests, and clinical abbreviations — the hospital rooms are where we 'huddle-up' as a family to call the next play and plan the next move now that the cancer's back, aggressive, and starting to spread."
Jill also wrote that even in is failing health, Jim Kelly is still thinking of ways he can help others. She mentioned how just after being discharged during a recent trip, Jim took some flowers had been given and brought them to a man in the final stages of a battle with cancer. The man sat with the Kelly family and prayed for Jim.
Back in Buffalo, thousands of fans are rallying to support Jim and his family. Many have left message of support on social media, using the hashtag "PrayersForJK" and on a Facebook page titled Prayfor JimKelly.
Many former NFL players and Jim's teammates on the Buffalo BIlls have reached out as well. Last weekend Bills greats Andre Reed and Bruce Smith flew in to Buffalo, joining Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas, who stayed in Buffalo to live after they retired.
"Just the overwhelming support and prayers we've been getting is unbelievable," said Dan Kelly, one of Jim Kelly's five brothers. "Jim reads those messages on Prayfor JimKelly, and it's encouraging to him and gives him strength."
"There has been an outpouring of support from the NFL to the commissioner, to Mr. Wilson," Dan Kelly added, referring to Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. "Peyton Manning, all of Jim's friends among players and NFL management, they've all been texting and calling and offering their support. … What has been amazing is how we've heard from so many people Jim has touched over the years, including people who never met Jim, and we're starting to feel that ripple effect from them."
Jim Kelly has flown to New York City and has a tentative cancer surgery scheduled for Thursday.