Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly will once again undergo treatment for oral cancer after recent testing showed that the cancer has returned.
"As our family has faced many trials and triumphs throughout the years, you have blessed us with your prayers. We are asking for those prayers once again," Kelly said in a statement Thursday. "The oral cancer we hoped would be gone forever has returned. Although I was shocked and deeply saddened to receive this news, I know that God is with me.
"I continuously talk about the four F's: Faith, Family, Friends and Fans. With all of you by my side, we will fight and win this battle together. Staying 'Kelly Tough' and trusting God, will carry us through this difficult time."
Kelly first announced in June 2013 that he had squamous cell carcinoma of the upper jawbone. He had surgery to remove tumors but was found again to have cancer in March 2014.
The former Buffalo Bills quarterback underwent weeks of chemotherapy and radiation in 2014 before being declared cancer-free that September. He has been periodically screened for cancer in the years since.
Kelly's daughter, Erin Kelly-Bean, and his wife, Jill, posted messages to Instagram on Thursday.
Words feel inadequate. Truthfully, it's hard to even comprehend that I'm writing this... My dad's cancer is back. I don't understand. But I have to choose to hold onto the only thing I am sure of... Jesus. Lord Jesus... I know my dad and I know our family...with Your strength, he will continue to persevere and fight like never before and we will fight right along with him...knowing that You have already won the war. Because of You we always have hope! Although we don't know what tomorrow holds, today we choose to trust the One who holds tomorrow. Please Pray. #KellyTough
The cancer is back. We are shocked, heartbroken, sad, angry, confused, and just darn tired. Yet, despite how we feel, we KNOW that God is a promise maker and keeper. He is who He says He is! He can do what He says He can do! We don't have to understand His ways to trust His heart. The battle is HIS. (Exodus 14:14) We need you... In addition to our faith, family, and friends...we really need you and your prayer warrior friends to pray. We're all in this together. THANK YOU! The more life and heartbreak I experience, the more I realize that this is not the end of the story. Life is temporary. And short. But eternity...is FOREVER. Because we know that our eternity is secure in Christ, we can trust God with every breath upon this earth.
Kelly, 58, played for the Bills from 1986 through 1996 and appeared in four consecutive Super Bowls. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.
"We are deeply saddened to hear the news about Jim Kelly and his impending battle with cancer," the Bills said in a statement Thursday. "Jim is a tough and courageous man and we know he will fight this battle with strength and determination. The Buffalo Bills will support the Kelly family during this trying time and we ask our fans to pray for the family as Jim begins the treatment process and the road to recovery."