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Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly announces that he has cancer

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, who played in four Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills and put together one of the more impressive careers of his era, announced Monday that he has Squamous-cell carcinoma (cancer) of the upper jaw bone. Kelly's statement, per the Bills' official website:

“This past couple of weeks has been difficult for me and because of the nature of social media I thought it would be best to share with everyone what has been going on with my health. I was recently diagnosed with Squamous-cell carcinoma (cancer) of the upper jaw bone. I have undergone tests which have shown that the cancer is isolated to my upper jaw and has not spread to other parts of my body. Surgery is scheduled for June 7th and doctors have told me that the prognosis for my recovery is very good.

"With the excellent medical care that I will be receiving and the loving care of my wife Jill and my daughters Erin and Camryn and the support of my entire family and friends, I am extremely confident in my road to recovery. I plan to tackle this challenge head on, as we Kelly’s always do, with toughness, perseverance and faith.

"I want to thank everyone who has offered their prayers and would appreciate any prayers said for me and my family moving forward. May God continue to bless you and our family.”

"When you hear the word cancer, it scares the crap out of you," Kelly told Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News on Monday at the Terry Hills Golf Course in Batavia, N.Y. "It not only scared me, but it scared my family."

Kelly was hosting his annual "Kelly for Kids" golf tournament through his foundation, which he started to help disadvantaged and disabled youth in Western New York. Kelly's son Hunter was born in 1997 with Krabbe Disease, an inherited degenerative disorder of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Hunter died in 2005, but the "Hunter's Hope" charity, which Kelly and his wife started the same year Hunter was born, raised more than $6 million, and granted more than $3.8 million to neurological research, during the child's life.

Selected with the 14th pick in the 1983 NFL draft, Kelly played two seasons for the USFL's Houston Gamblers before joining the Bills in time for the 1986 season. He appeared in four straight Super Bowls from the 1990 through 1993 seasons, and though the Bills lost each of those games, Kelly is rightly regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of his generation, as well as a pioneer of the no-huddle offense at the NFL level.

Everyone at Shutdown Corner wishes Jim Kelly a fast and full recovery. We send our thoughts and prayers to Kelly and all who are close to him.

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