Lifestyle & Human Interest

Jim Kelly's Wife Jill Asks for Prayers, Posts Photo of NFL Great at Hospital


Cancer is a war with no clear conclusion. Too often the rogue cells fail to die, instead fighting with surreptitious guerrilla tactics through a body once thought cured.

Such is the experience that former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly has lived through. The man renowned for his prowess with the pigskin has fought a hard fight against oral cancer more than once.

Now his wife, Jill, is asking for prayer as doctors continue to evaluate his condition. According to, Kelly originally dealt with cancer in June 2013.

Doctors told him that he had squamous cell carcinoma of the upper jawbone. After roughly a year-and-a-half of treatments, they declared him cancer-free.

But the celebration came too soon. The New York Post reported that Kelly confirmed his cancer had returned on March 1, 2018.

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“With all of you by my side, we will fight and win this battle together,” he said in a statement. “Staying ‘Kelly Tough’ and trusting God, will carry us through the difficult time.”

Difficult barely begins to describe it. The Kelly family has chronicled the challenges of treatment and recovery on social media.

Jill, in particular, has shared stories and images on social media, detailing her husband’s painful struggles. Yet she has also regularly mentioned the strength of their marriage and reliance on the Almighty.

So you can imagine the emotions that roiled the Kellys when they announced that Jim was once again cancer-free. “We finally got back the results from Jim’s recent MRI…CLEAN!” Jill wrote on Instagram.

“Thank GOD! It took a bit longer than usual because of all the reconstruction Jim has had inside his mouth.”

Relief must have merged with uncertainty because the family had definitely ridden in this particular rodeo before. They knew that an all-clear notice from doctors didn’t necessarily mean Kelly was out of the proverbial woods.

So when Kelly had to return for another scan on May 22, Jill took to Facebook. Her reason? To ask people to pray.

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“It’s scan day,” she wrote. “Honestly, I don’t know how he does it.

“Not just the MRIs and scans and the waiting and wondering and worrying … but the everyday stuff. The pain that never seems to go away.

“All the other issues that go along with having been through cancer treatments (if you know, you know). Just all of it.”

But she didn’t want readers to lose themselves in sympathy and forget the main thing: “As you have so many times for us in the past, will you pray?” she asked.

“I believe in the power of prayer, but especially in the One who knows exactly what we need at all times! He is faithful and so good!”

Thankfully, in an update that Jill posted on May 22, she revealed that the scan went well and Jim was, once again, declared cancer-free.

“Praising God on the streets of NYC!” Jill wrote. “Another ‘clean’ scan!!! Thank YOU SO MUCH for praying and standing with us as we continue this journey…one day at a time, one prayer at a time. It all sounds cliche, but it’s true.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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