Jim Kelly is heading back under the knife this week, getting surgery seven months after a doctor declared the Buffalo Bills legend cancer-free.
Jim’s wife, Jill Kelly, posted an update on her Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon saying that Jim was about to go into surgery.
She later shared more details on Instagram, saying Jim had a permanent eye duct inserted after his was damaged from chemotherapy and radiation.
Jim Kelly was initially diagnosed with jaw cancer in 2013, but was declared cancer-free after having surgery to remove a portion of his jaw that was stricken with cancer.
Kelly suffered a major setback in March of last year — just days before the team’s longtime owner Ralph Wilson died — when he announced that the cancer had returned. Though reports indicated that the prognosis looked grim, Kelly underwent an aggressive treatment regimen that doctors said went well.
Last August, doctors said the treatment of chemotherapy and radiation had eliminated all sign of cancer.
“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 at the time. “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.’ “
Kelly’s cancer battle turned at what ended up being a historic time for the Buffalo Bills. Jim was able to return to Ralph Wilson Stadium for the team’s second game last year, which came just days after billionaire and Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula officially became just the second owner in team history.
Jim Kelly’s long battle with cancer has also captivated America. His stories have made national headlines, and his appearance at the 2015 NFL Draft to announce the Bills second-round pick (their first of the draft), he received the loudest applause of the entire event.
He recently attended the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction for Bill Polian, who, as general manager, engineered the Buffalo Bills’ Super Bowl teams of the early 1990s.
Kelly’s story has resounded particularly in Western New York, where thousands of people gathered to sign cards and send wishes to Jim and his family.
[Image via Facebook]