Thousands rally to support Jim Kelly in his time of need
One thing is for sure, Jim Kelly is not alone.
The Hall of Fame Bills quarterback, who is battling with an aggressive recurrence of oral cancer, has drawn the support of thousands in Western New York and across the nation. Kelly is scheduled to have surgery on Thursday.
Social media has exploded, as a Twitter hashtag called (#PrayersforJK) and a Facebook page called "PrayforJimKelly" have sprung up and are attracting much attention. Here are some of the examples of support on Twitter:
I try to be funny on here and bring a smile to your face. But cancer is not funny and it's affecting one of Buffalo's best #PrayersForJK— Nathaniel Hackett (@CrazyNateHacket) March 25, 2014
just changed my avi for good luck #PrayersForJK— Bills Chick (@Bills_Chick) March 25, 2014
Kelly and his family have noticed.
"Just the overwhelming support and prayers we've been getting is unbelievable," Dan Kelly, one of Jim's brothers, told the Buffalo News. "Jim reads those messages on PrayforJimKelly, and it's encouraging to him and gives him strength."
The Buffalo News reported that the congregation at the Chapel at Crosspoint in Getzville, which usually draws about 5,000 people, knelt in prayer and prayed for Kelly. The family watched via an online stream. Jill Kelly, Jim's wife, couldn't have been more thankful.
"At the end of the day, the Kelly family is part of our church family, and so like anyone in our church family that's going through a difficult season, we want to join them in praying and lifting them up to the Lord for his help," Pastor Jerry Gillis said.
Fans have gotten into the act, signing a huge get-well card put together by local radio personality DJ Lickster, who is friends with Kelly.
"It's funny because everybody wants to tell me their Jim Kelly story, whether they met him once and he touched them or when they watched him play and what a tough guy he was," Lickster said. "It's been very emotional taking it around, because there's a lot of great stories."