As former Buffalo Bills quarterback prepares for surgery relating to jaw cancer, support from across Buffalo and the world continues to pour in during his second bout with the disease.
Jim's wife, Jill, said on Twitter he's tentatively set to have the surgery Thursday in New York City. He's been in the hospital much of the time since it was learned earlier this month that his squamous cell carcinoma has come back. Jill said on her blog the cancer is aggressive and spreading, and that he is often drained and sick-feeling as a result.
The Hall of Famer was first diagnosed last year with the cancer in his jaw. He had surgery June 7 to remove the cancer and part of his jaw. No follow-up chemotherapy or radiation were needed at the time.
Just as it was then, the support for Kelly has been high. Various Twitter hashtags (#PrayersForJK, #PrayForJK, #PrayersForJim) have all been heavily used the past two weeks. Former teammates, family members and total strangers have taken to wishing him well.
Much of that closeness stems from Kelly's ties to the region. He settled in Buffalo after he retired and has been a part of numerous local groups. He's also been long-rumored to be part of a group that would buy the Bills after owner Ralph Wilson Jr. dies.
But that's on the backburner now.
"He's going to go through some gnarly stuff," former teammate Andre Reed told Bills 101. "All we can do is be his friend and pray for him and all the people around him."
His nephew Chad Kelly is a quarterback at Clemson University.
"Everyone please pray for my uncle Jim," he tweeted. "He and our family need all the prayers we can get at this time."
Local radio station WGRF 96.9 FM has circulated get-well cards that have gathered thousands of signatures. And former rival John Elway, now general manager of the Denver Broncos, said he's confident the ever-tough Kelly will pull through:
Tags: Andre Reed, Buffalo, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Football, Jim Kelly, John Elway, NFL"There's no question," he told "The John Murphy Show." "He was a tough guy, and I think when you think of Jim Kelly, that's what he represents. Hopefully, that
toughness gets him through this next challenge that he has in front of him."