Famed quarterback Jim Kelly may never have gotten his Superbowl ring, but come Jan. 13, he’ll be focused on a ring of a more sentimental nature. The Buffalo Bills football legend will be walking his beloved daughter, Erin Kelly, down the aisle on her wedding day.
Erin’s wedding is a milestone the cancer-surviving Hall-of-Famer Kelly thought he may not live to see.
Being alive to see his daughter wed is a long-anticipated answer to the Kelly family’s prayers.
In 2014, Kelly admitted that his bucket list included participating in the weddings of his two daughters. “One of the ones I always wanted to be able to do was walk my two daughters down the aisle,” Kelly said at the time.
Kelly played for Buffalo from 1986-1996, famously leading his team to the Superbowl in four consecutive seasons. In 2002, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Tragically, in 2005, Kelly’s 8-year-old son, Hunter Kelly, passed away.
Hunter had battled with a fatal nervous system disease his entire life, and his father often credited Hunter as his source of inspiration.
Then, in 2013, Kelly was diagnosed with cancer — squamous cell carcinoma — and was deemed cancer-free after surgery.
But the cancer returned in 2014, and Kelly had to complete chemotherapy and radiation treatments, making for some dark, uncertain days for the entire family.
Now, just days before the anticipated wedding, Kelly’s wife, Jill Kelly, captured touching footage of father and daughter dancing together in preparation for the wedding. “Only crying a little bit. Just a little,” Jill admitted on Facebook.
“I can’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude and awe,” Jill expressed, watching the duo spin and twirl on their living room floor.
“While Jim was going through his cancer battle he prayed daily to be able to live to walk his daughters down the aisle.”
The father-daughter duo shares a unique bond, shaped by faith and love.
Erin wrote about the tight bond with her father in a book she co-authored with her mother, titled “Kelly Tough,” in 2015.
The quarterback legend will have to channel his “Kelly Toughness” just to make it down the aisle without melting into a puddle. Best of luck, Jim.
“If you prayed for Jim and our family during his battle – THANK YOU!” Jill wrote on Facebook. “This is answered prayer! God is amazing! Praise the Lord!”
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