Jim Kelly is cancer free! To analyze that sentence, knowing what Jim looked like back in June is truly unbelievable. In fact, I believe we have all been witness to a miracle.

Watching Jim go through his treatments, his drastic weight loss and the clear signs of agonizing pain on his face made me wonder if this was a battle he could win. Yet, Jim Kelly was victorious, but as he points out he clearly didn’t do it on his own. The thousands and thousands of prayers that Kelly received from all over North America and the faith in God that he and his family have demonstrated so publicly make the outcome truly inspiring.

Aunt Martha

Aunt Martha

One person I thought of when I heard the news was my Aunt Martha. Last year, two months after Jim’s first cancer surgery in June, I had him on my All Sports WNY show. I told Jim about my Aunt Martha who had stage four cancer and was about to under go radiation and chemo treatments. Jim gladly personalized an autograph on a football for my Aunt which I presented on her 80th birthday down in Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania.

My Aunt was a big Bills fan even though she and my Aunt Maryanne lived just outside of Wilkes Barre in Swoyersville PA. When she opened the gift and saw the Bills football with the message “To sweet Martha from Jim Kelly, HOF” she almost cried.

That football was prominently displayed in her living room when I went down to visit her in July, just two weeks before she passed. Under hospice care, my Aunt asked about Jim Kelly and told me how badly she felt for Jim and his family and what he was going through. Martha would have been so happy to hear yesterday’s news because she felt a strong connection to Jim.

So many people living in Western New York feel that same connection and because Jill Kelly and her daughters Erin and Camyrn made Jim’s battle so public they all share in his joy.

The excellent doctors Jim had both in New York City and in Buffalo cannot be overlooked. Many asked me why he chose ECMC and Lenox Hill Hospital in New York as opposed to more prominent cancer treatment centers and I honestly didn’t have answer, but obviously it all worked out for the best.

Kelly will have to undergo regular follow-up exams and scans, but those should seem a breeze after what he just went through. No one is guaranteed tomorrow, but I’m sure Jim Kelly is certainly living today to the fullest.


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