Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly's Wife Says 7 Inspiring Words About God After Cancer Return


Far too many people have experienced the heartbreaking reality of a cancer diagnosis.

Even worse is when cancer comes back after years of being cancer-free.

That, sadly, is the reality for Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly as he has been diagnosed again with oral cancer after being cancer-free since September 2014.

“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 said. “With all of you by my side, we will fight and win this battle together.”

Despite the shock and sadness that comes with the diagnosis, his wife, Jill, is holding on to what she knows is true.

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“God is a promise maker and keeper,” she said.

“The more life and heartbreak I experience, the more I realize this is not the end of the story. Life is temporary. And short.

“But eternity…is FOREVER. Because we know that our eternity is secure in Christ, we can trust God with every breath upon this earth,” she wrote.

Kelly was first diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in June 2013 and had to have some of his upper jaw removed.

When follow-up tests revealed cancer had spread into his sinus, he had to go through radiation and chemotherapy treatments, and lost 70 pounds in the process.

The former quarterback has trouble speaking, can’t produce saliva and has lost his sense of taste as long-term effects of the disease.

Kelly played 11 seasons with the Bills before he retired after the 1996 season.

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Bills players and NFL teams posted encouraging messages for Kelly on Twitter.

“Jim is a tough and courageous man, and we know he will fight this battle with strength and determination,” the Bills said in a statement released by the team. “The Buffalo Bills will support the Kelly family during this trying time, and we ask our fans to pray for the family, as Jim beings the treatment process and the road to recovery.”

Kelly, for his part, is staying positive about the entire circumstance.

“I have no room to complain,” Kelly said. “If tomorrow the good Lord decides that’s my last day, then I’m not going to go down with a frown. I’m going down with a smile on my face, knowing that I’ve gotten everything out of life.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith