Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly announced Thursday the oral cancer that nearly took his life in 2013 and 2014 has returned.
Kelly was first diagnosed with Squamous-cell carcinoma of the upper jaw bone in 2013 and had a surgery to remove tumors, according to ESPN. Part of that surgery also included removing part of his jaw, stated the Buffalo News. That surgery was unsuccessful, though, as Kelly announced in 2014 he still had the cancer. He immediately began chemotherapy and radiation treatment, eventually leading to a September 2014 diagnoses that he was cancer-free. Since announcing he was cancer free, Kelly has been monitored by his doctors. It was during his latest check they found evidence the cancer had returned.
Kelly, 58, released a statement through the Buffalo Bills’ official Twitter page, stating, “I know that God is with me. I continuously talk about the four F’s: Faith, Family, Friends and Fans.”
“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,” Kelly’s statement read. “The oral cancer we hoped would be gone forever has returned….With all of you by my side, we will fight and win this battle together. Staying ‘Kelly Tough’ and trusting God, will carry us through this difficult time.”
Kelly led the Bills to four straight Super Bowls from 1990-93, failing to win each time. He played for the team from 1989-99. He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and had his No. 12 jersey retired by the organization. Kelly was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Kelly, who played college football at the University of Miami, has been through a lot of personal challenges since retiring from the NFL in 1999. In 2005, Kelly’s only son, Hunter, died from Krabbe Disease at just the age of 8.
Soon after Kelly’s announcement on Thursday that the cancer has returned, a large amount of support hit social media, including from Kelly’ former teams.
Team statement on Jim Kelly. pic.twitter.com/dKMQOijf2E— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) March 1, 2018