Jim Kelly invokes Jimmy V at ESPYs: 'Make a difference today for someone who is fighting for their tomorrow'

Yahoo Sports
Jim Kelly invoked Jimmy V and urged people to make the small gestures to make difference in people’s lives during an ESPYs acceptance speech. (AP)
Jim Kelly invoked Jimmy V and urged people to make the small gestures to make difference in people’s lives during an ESPYs acceptance speech. (AP)

Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly was honored at Wednesday night’s ESPY Awards with the Jimmy V Award, named after former N.C. State basketball coach Jim Valvano who inspired millions before dying from cancer in 1993.

Kelly, who’s been battling oral cancer since 2013, invoked Valvano during his acceptance speech that inspired tears in the audience.


Kelly urges other to make a difference in daily lives

“Make a difference today for someone who is fighting for their tomorrow,” Kelly urged. “You don’t need to be a Russell Wilson, an Aaron Rodgers to make a difference out there. … My kids, my friends, when they came into see me, not once did they have a frown on their face.”

“If you have somebody out there suffering, it doesn’t have to be cancer.  It can be somebody not having a good day. … What you say to them and the smile that you have on your face, that can be the difference in them making it to the next day. … Like Jimmy V said, never ever give up.”

Kelly was declared cancer-free in 2014 before a recurrence was found in March. The Hall of Fame quarterback is scheduled to have permanent teeth implants put into his upper jaw and recently announced that he would be visiting for an unscheduled checkup on his recovery.

“I don’t know whether I’m going to be here for two days, four days or in and out. And then hopefully I pray when September has rolled around that I can finally bite into a piece of meat and not soup every day.”

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