Kelly for Kids Foundation gala kicks off without Kelly

Updated: 06/01/2014 11:35 PM
Created: 06/01/2014 11:27 PM WHEC.com

Supporting children across western New York. The Kelly for Kids Foundation kicked off on Sunday with the charity gala. For 28 years the Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic has raised money for local children’s charities, but, for the first time, Kelly was unable to attend the charity gala as he continues his battle with oral cancer.

A few hundred people gathered at Sunday’s event. Jim Kelly was in everyone’s thoughts as he will remain at ECMC for another week before going home. The chemo and radiation treatments are now complete. Now it’s a six to eight week recovery process before an MRI is taken to see if the cancer has been eradicated.

Kelly first announced to the public that he had jaw cancer at last year’s celebrity golf outing. A year later, at the peak of his battle, Jim is in the hospital unable to attend his golf outing gala. His brother Dan spoke on his behalf.

“Jim is still recovering at ECMC. He didn’t go home. He needs to get healthy. It was in his best interest to stay in the hospital,” said Dan Kelly.

Andre Reed is one of Jim’s closest friends, and he has witnessed the treatment taking its toll.

“Superman would transform with this. We are in his heart and his prayers. There is nothing else we can do. We just hope he gets better,” said Reed.

“This bracelet Jill gave me says it all. Kelly Strong. That’s what he is. There is no reason to believe he will be anything but that,” said Bill Polian.

Kelly Strong, and if anyone knows how true those words are, it’s former Bills Head Coach Marvy Levy.

“He is fighting wonderfully. He has passed radiation and chemo. We hope for the best,” said Levy.

Monday’s golf outing will take place at Terry Hills in Batavia.

Even though Jim Kelly couldn’t be at the gala on Sunday, he still showed his support for the children.

On Saturday, Jill Kelly posted a picture of Jim with a freshly shaved head on her Instagram.

If you’d like to donate to the Kelly for Kids Foundation, click here.

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