Jim Kelly gets an emotional lift from Dan Marino visit

As Jim Kelly has undergone treatment to combat a return of his cancer of the sinus cavity, his wife, Jill, shared a number of moving images and videos from his Buffalo hospital.

On Sunday, she shared a special visit he recently had from an old rival and a fellow Hall of Famer: Dan Marino. Along with Bill Polian and Howard Schnellenberger, the Miami Dolphins’ Hall of Famer stopped by the hospital and attended Kelly’s charity event.

“Kinda LOVED this visit!” Jill Kelly wrote on Instagram of seeing Marino, who also visited in April, again. “On the field warriors and off the field the best of friends. Amazing how a visit from this guy can lift Jim’s spirits. Thank you Dan! @DanMarino Still all about squishing the fish though… #prayersforJK”

Schnellenberger coached Kelly at the University of Miami and Polian is the former Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts general manager. “Sometimes talking about the past helps encourage you to press on in the present!!” Jill Kelly wrote on Instagram. “So grateful for these men… All part of Jim’s story. Interesting how trials bring us back together again. #prayersforJK Thank you Bill Polian, Howard Schnellenberger and of course #13 Grateful for your lasting friendship!”

Kelly, according to the Buffalo News, will undergo an MRI in 6-to-8 weeks that will determine whether he is cancer-free. For now, he is recovering at Erie County Medical Center and was unable to attend his own charity fundraiser. He had plenty of help, though, as Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Anthony Munoz, John Randle and Marino, along with former coach Marv Levy, filled in.

“He’s finished his chemo, he’s finished his radiation, and that’s great,” his brother Dan Kelly said. “Now he can start to recover. … The nerve pain he was experiencing is gone, so that’s really encouraging.”

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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