Pro football Hall of Fame legend Jim Kelly is battling cancer with the same intensity he once showed on the field. Kelly recently discussed his ongoing health struggle with NBC News, and the interview quickly went viral, inspiring people around the world with the athlete’s strength, courage and heart.
The 54-year-old recently underwent radiation therapy and is waiting to hear if the treatment was successful. In the meantime, he is leaning on his signature toughness to keep moving through the pain. Despite his weakened state, Kelly still helps lead the youth football camp he founded and continues his work with children suffering from Krabbe leukodystrophy. When Kelly’s eight-year-old son Hunter passed away from the disease in 2005, he and his wife Jill started a foundation called Hunter’s Hope to support and promote research, education, awareness and family care for victims and their families.
Kelly spoke to Sports Illustrated from his hospital room several months ago, when his oncologist told him his illness was “very treatable and potentially curable.” Kelly says at times the pain has been overwhelming but that he has relied on his faith in God and the strength of his family to see him through.
“This is just another river to cross,” he told Sports Illustrated. “Now we know what it is, and we’ll keep fighting. Whatever I did in life I never did alone. So we’ll fight. It’s in the Lord’s hands now.”
We join thousands of other fans around the world in wishing Kelly a speedy recovery.
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