Legendary Quarterback Jim Kelly’s Wife Shares Tear-Jerking Message Before Surgery For Cancer

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Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly greets fans before Sunday’s game at New Era Field. (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)

When a Hall of Fame NFL quarterback battles oral cancer, he does so exactly as you’d expect: as a fighter who will do whatever it takes to win and overcome adversity.

Through it all, his beloved wife Jill has stood by his side, caring for his body, mind, and soul.

“I was looking at my Insta profile picture yesterday,” Jill wrote early in November. “And I got to thinking and started to do the math. That picture of me holding my Bible was taken soon after I became a follower of Christ, almost 20 years ago. A lot has happened in 20 years.”

“There have been very dark days filled with despair, when the effort to get out of bed was more than I could handle. Seasons filled with fear and doubt, when everything I thought was true was called into question. Moments when I had to remind myself to breathe, because even that was a challenge.”

“And yet, there were days of immeasurable favor and grace too. Moments, and days, and seasons when God revealed more and more of Himself to me and His presence was the greatest gift of all…”

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I was looking at my Insta profile picture yesterday. And I got to thinking and started to do the math. That picture of me holding my Bible was taken soon after I became a follower of Christ, almost 20 years ago. A lot has happened in 20 years. There have been very dark days filled with despair, when the effort to get out of bed was more than I could handle. Seasons filled with fear and doubt, when everything I thought was true was called into question. Moments when I had to remind myself to breathe, because even that was a challenge. And yet, there were days of immeasurable favor and grace too. Moments, and days, and seasons when God revealed more and more of Himself to me and His presence was the greatest gift of all… So here it is, some 20 things I have learned over the past 20 years…(listed above after my photo since this post would have been a book) Knowing that I am still a work in progress and have so much more to learn. God is so good! (📸PC: @thebrodywheeler )

A post shared by Jill Kelly (@jillmkelly) on

On Nov. 28, Buffalo Bills’ Jim Kelly undertook what his doctors say will be his last surgery, we found out in an Instagram post from his wife, Jill. She posted a photo of him giving his trademark thumbs-up as he headed in for the operation.

“Thumbs up… For hand holding, Lavender hospital gowns, Blue hair nets…” she wrote. “And the doctors telling us that this should be Jim’s last surgery.”

“Thank you for praying us through. Your love, encouragement, and prayer support have blessed us beyond measure. While I wait for Jim, I’ll be praying.”

“If you would like me to pray for you, please let me know. It’s an honor to do so.”

Thumbs up…For hand holding,Lavender hospital gowns,Blue hair nets…And the doctors telling us that this should be…

Posted by Jill Kelly – Author/Speaker on Wednesday, November 28, 2018

After the surgery was over, Jim took to social media to update his friends, family, and fans with joyful news:

“Another thumbs up! Surgery complete and all went as planned! In recovery now. THANK YOU SO MUCH for praying! I’m reading all of your prayer requests and I am praying for you. We are all in this life together! We need each other.
Thankful for you and again…I count it a privilege to talk to God on your behalf.”

Battling cancer has not stopped Kelly from being involved with his beloved Buffalo Bills. He’s continued to be at the games, including being on the sidelines when the bills beat the Jacksonville Jaguars recently at New Era Field.

Here is the statement from Mount Sinai Medical Center on Kelly’s recovery in April.

New York, NY (April 01, 2018)

Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is continuing to recover following surgery on Wednesday, according to Mount Sinai Health System. Kelly underwent a 12-hour procedure to remove oral cancer and reconstruct his upper jaw. “We successfully removed Mr. Kelly’s cancer from his upper jaw and lymph nodes from his neck,” said Mark Urken, professor of otolaryngology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and head and neck surgeon at Mount Sinai West. “We then reconstructed his upper jaw. Mr. Kelly is resting comfortably post-operatively.”

Mark L. Urken, MD, Professor, Otolaryngology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Head and Neck Surgeon, Mount Sinai West

We are so happy for the legendary quarterback and his family. His healing process will probably be the best Chrismas present they’ve ever received.