Jim Kelly scheduled for even more surgery as battle against cancer rages on


Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly will likely undergo surgery in June as he continues his battle against oral cancer.

Doctors operated on Kelly back in March to remove a recurrence of the cancer from his upper jaw and lymph nodes, and then restructure his jaw. He was released from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City in April.

Since then, he has seemed to to be making progress. As The Wildcard told readers last month, his daughter, Erin Kelly-Bean, posted a photo to Instagram of her father not only up and about, but lifting weights.

Jim’s wife, Jill, also posted a photo showing the Hall of Fame quarterback working out on an exercise bike.

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“Progress! And Prayer! Two vital components of this journey,” she wrote. “He works harder and is more focused than anyone I know. He never gives up!”

On Thursday, Jill Kelly provided another update, explaining that Jim had gone to NYC for another check-up and a “strategy meeting.” Apparently, the recovery process is still going well.

“The doctors were very impressed with how much Jim has healed since he’s been home,” Jill wrote. “Praise God!”

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She went on to note that “the plan at this point is that he will have surgery in mid-June to lesson the ‘skin flap’ bulk in his mouth, as well as put implants into his upper jaw.”

After that procedure, doctors will give Kelly more time to recover, then possibly perform another procedure on him in September.

Despite the difficulty and uncertainty of the situation, the Kellys seem to be trusting in God’s “perfect plan.”

“All of this of course is wrapped up in the perfect plan and purposes of God…who knows all, is sovereign over all, and graciously orchestrates the details of our lives, holding everything together, and working everything together for good,” Jill wrote. “None of us know what tomorrow holds…but we can choose to trust the ONE who holds tomorrow.”

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She concluded by thanking everyone who has been praying for the family.

Jim Kelly’s fight against cancer hasn’t stopped him from living an active life.

On the first day of the Bill’s rookie minicamp last week, Kelly surprised newly drafted quarterback Josh Allen by meeting him on the sideline.

It was a great moment that made for a very touching photo, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

“I’m shaking right now,” Allen told reporters as he and Kelly walked off the field. Though it was the first time the two had met in person, they did exchange text messages following the NFL draft.

Kelly had to walk with a cane, and admitted that it was difficult to speak. Instead of addressing reporters, he raised his right thumb.

”It’s the best thing I can do: Thumbs up,” Kelly said.

Allen had very high praise for the Bills legend, who led Buffalo to four straight Super Bowls from 1990 to 1993. “He’s the greatest quarterback to play the game, and obviously the greatest quarterback in Buffalo history,” the first-round draft pick said.

“That’s where I want to be. That’s eventually (the goal of) my career, to be regarded in the city of Buffalo like a Jim Kelly,” he added, according to ESPN. “I think that every quarterback who plays here wants to be in the same sentence as him, just because of what he is and what he holds to the city. For him to come out here is an awesome experience.”

After meeting each other, Allen and Kelly walked to the Bills locker room, where they had a private conversation.

“He said to embrace the city of Buffalo. He said a few more things that I’ll keep to myself,” Allen said of their discussion. “I’m still shaking from meeting him. He’s a special man.”

Allen also said he recognized Kelly’s toughness.

“I can’t say anything else but he’s a special man. He’s been through a lot,” Allen said. ”And to be in the spirits that he is and to come out here and show support for the Buffalo Bills, that just shows to me how much he means to Buffalo and Buffalo means to him. It’s awesome.”

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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