Jim Kelly cancer update: Chemotherapy postponed for NFL Hall of Famer - "No way I'd be here without my faith"
54-year old Jim Kelly will begin chemo and radiation therapy next week, a postponement of seven days, due to a fever.
The former NFL quarterback announced in June 2013 that he had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the upper jaw bone, and has undergone a series of procedures over the past year.
Shortly after the announcement, Kelly had the left side of his jaw and teeth on the left side of his mouth removed, and was told that no chemotherapy or radiation treatment would be necessary.
Last month, he found out that the cancer had returned, and had surgery to relieve pain on the left side of his face and jaw. "I need lots of prayers," Kelly said at the time.
Kelly was initially expected to undergo another surgery, but revealed that he has several microscopic tumors that cannot be removed surgically. Instead, he will undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy. His doctor has called the cancer "very treatable and potentially curable."
In a detailed story by Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback, Kelly stated that his faith has enabled him to endure his tribulations: "There is no way I'd be here without my faith. It's been such a roller coaster. So many things. The Super Bowl losses, the fabulous career, my son born sick, making the Hall of Fame, my son dying, two plates and 10 screws in my back after major surgery, one plate and six screws in my neck after another surgery, a double hernia, the cancer, surgery on my jaw, the cancer coming back, now what I'm facing."
Jim Kelly's son, Hunter, was born with Krabbe Disease-- an inherited degenerative disorder of the central and peripheral nervous systems. He died in 2005 at the age of 8.
Kelly spent 11 seasons with the Bills and led them to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990s, only to lose them all. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.