Jim Kelly fighting “aggressive” cancer, expected to have surgery


Last September, Jim Kelly and members of the Buffalo Bills’ Wall of Fame participated in a halftime ceremony. (Bill Wippert / AP)

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is expected to have surgery Thursday to treat a recurrence of the oral cancer that first appeared nine months ago.

Jill Kelly, his wife, wrote on her blog last week that “the cancer’s back, aggressive, and starting to spread” and said on Instagram that the surgery is tentatively planned. Kelly is now being treated in New York, where social media updates from Jill Kelly and the couple’s daughter, Erin, provide a glimpse of the faith and determination Kelly and his family are bringing to his medical setback.

The news about Kelly came as NFL owners and front-office personnel gathered in Orlando for annual meetings and John Elway, a fellow member of the legendary QB class of 1983, spoke of how tough his longtime friend is.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Jim and his family,” Elway told “The John Murphy Show” (via BuffaloBills.com). “I know what a tough guy he is, he’s proven that in his years in the NFL. Obviously, the last couple of years he’s been struggling with some of the health issues. Our hearts and prayers go out to him and hopefully everything works out for him.”

Kelly, who neither smoked nor chewed tobacco, received his original diagnosis last spring and, on June 7, underwent surgery in which part of his jaw and a number of teeth were removed.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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