It can be disheartening to leave cancer in the past only to have it crop up again, and again, but that is the life that some people live. Jim Kelly, a former quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, knows that pattern well.
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Buffalo Bills Home Opener 2018! Some Pre-Game love for our Rookie QB @joshallenqb Jim reminded me last night of his first two years as a Buffalo Bill…how the team struggled to win, but also how they turned it around, started winning (a lot)…and how ultimately the team became a family. We’re hoping and Billieving! Let’s GO BUFFALO!
“Make a difference today for someone who is fighting for their tomorrow,” he said during his acceptance speech. “When I look across this arena and when I talk to people and I look at people, you don’t need to be a Russell Wilson, an Aaron Rodgers to make a difference out there.
“Every single person in the room can be a difference maker. You can be just a normal person that gets up every morning and goes to work but you can be a difference maker. Put the smiles on those faces.”
Fortunately, Kelly had an amazing support team in the form of his friends and family, who were always a ray of light during Kelly’s darkest times.
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Two thumbs up. Two gifted doctors. And…One amazing man with a smile and some temporary teeth. Another milestone reached in a very long, difficult, and painful oral reconstruction journey. Again, thank you for praying. And thank you to all who shared prayer requests. It was a privilege to pray for you. God is faithful!
“My kids and my friends, when they came in to see me not once did they ever have a frown on their face,” he continued. “So, I just urge anybody out there, if you have somebody out there that’s suffering, it doesn’t have to be cancer. It could be somebody not having a good day. It could be your mom or your dad. It could be your grandparents.”
“What you say to them, the smile that you have on your face, that could be the difference in them making it to the next day. Remember that. Always, always persevere. Like Jimmy V said, ‘Never, ever give up.’”
At the time, Kelly had already beaten squamous cell carcinoma twice, but was fighting his third round. Seven days after accepting the award, he got even better news while on the East Coast.
“Double thumbs up!” his wife posted on her Instagram. “MRI and CTScans are clear. Still working through major pain management, but PRAISE THE LORD, no evidence of cancer. And can I just say, Jim’s brothers are amazing!
“I’ve watched them stand with Jim in good times and bad. I’ve witnessed a love between siblings that is remarkable. What a blessing to be part of such an amazing family.”
Kelly knows first-hand what kind words and solid support can mean in a battle for life, and so he decided to pay it forward with some positivity of his own.
Since he was treated at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, New York, he decided to visit again — but on very different terms. This time, he’d be the one doing the encouraging.
As various patients were filmed describing their journeys and the care they’d received at ECMC, they were asked questions about Kelly, a high-profile cancer patient. As they spoke, he walked in, leaving patients with smiles, lights in their eyes, and springs in their steps.
He also handed out signed posters and other memorabilia, but the best gift he gave them was a sense of hope and encouragement from someone who’d been where they were and had made it to where they wanted to be.
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