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Jim Kelly Vows to Beat Cancer and Help Bills Stay in Buffalo

Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly declared he will beat cancer and do all he can to help the team stay in Buffalo.

May 16 2014, 2:17am CDT | by

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Jim Kelly Vows to Beat Cancer and Help Bills Stay in Buffalo
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Jim Kelly Vows to Beat Cancer and Help Bills Stay in Buffalo

Jim Kelly Vows to Beat Cancer and Help Bills Stay in Buffalo
Photo credit: Getty Images

Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly has two immediate concerns: beating cancer and helping the Bills stay in Buffalo. 

The Buffalo News' Mark Gaughan wrote more about Kelly's ongoing battle with cancer on May 15:

"Jim Kelly offered a poignant perspective Wednesday on his raging battle with cancer

"The Buffalo Bills' Hall of Fame quarterback got choked up talking about the fact he recently had a feeding tube inserted into his stomach.

"The tube is beneficial, and the added nutrition is helping Kelly's strength and energy. But it was another tough development to absorb in his cancer fight.

"'It was tough for me at the beginning when they told me that they're going to have to put in, because you don't want to...it just seems like I'm falling apart,' Kelly said.

"'When I started thinking about it, it scared me,' Kelly said. Then I thought, my son had it. I always wanted to be like my son.'

"Hunter Kelly, who battled a fatal genetic disease before his death in 2005, remains an inspiration to the Bills great. So, of course, do his wife and two daughters. So do Bills fans who have flooded him with an outpouring of prayers and support.

"Kelly's cancer spread into his maxillary sinus cavity and adjacent tissues. Microscopic tumors spread up the infraorbital nerve, which runs from the upper lip to the eyelid and is close to the carotid artery. 

"The treatments should be done by the end of the month. Then Kelly will have to wait about two months, probably into August, to see how well the treatments worked.

"He's under the care of Dr. Thom R. Loree, director of the department of head and neck and plastic and reconstructive surgery at Erie County Medical Center, and Dr. Peter D. Constantino, executive director of Lennox Hill Hospital Head & Neck Institute in New York City."

Kelly told The Buffalo News in a separate update it's his faith which he's leaning on during this trying time. 

"Kelly, who embraced Christianity in 2007, believes in the healing power of prayer, and said faith has been his greatest source of support during his cancer fight. 

"'Potential doesn't mean nothing to me, unless it's done,' Kelly said in a News interview Wednesday. 

"'If it wasn't for my faith, and knowing that I'm not scared to die...if that day comes, I know one thing, and I told my wife this: I'll be there to see our son, Hunter,' referring to his son who died at age eight in 2005 or Krabbe disease."

Kelly is also interested in being part of an ownership group for the Bills, whom Kelly prefers to stay in Buffalo, per The Associated Press (via ESPN).  

"A strict non-relocation clause essentially ties the Bills to playing at Ralph Wlson Stadium through the 2019 season. There remains concerns a new owner could relocate the team after that. 

"Kelly remains interested in joining a prospective ownership group. 

"Kelly's brother, Dan, said he's had several conversations with at least one candidate, New York City developer Donald Trump. 

"Beyond that, Kelly urged fans to show their support and convince prospective owners to keep the team in the region. 

"'The Buffalo Bills are a part of life here. They brought me to Buffalo and I love this community so much that I stayed here to raise my family,' he said.

"'Now is the time. It's absolutely critical to come out and show your support for the team this season to show the new owners how crazy they'd be to take the team elsewhere.'" 

The 54-year-old Kelly threw for 35,467 yards, 237 touchdowns and 175 interceptions during his 11-year NFL career with the Bills. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002, per Pro-Football-Reference.com. 

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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

 

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