Jim Kelly, former Hall of Fame quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, will receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at this year’s ESPY Awards, ESPN announced on Monday.
In 2013, Kelly was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a form of cancer in his upper jaw. After years of chemotherapy and radiation, Kelly announced that his oral cancer had returned in March 2018, three-and-a-half years after he was first declared cancer-free.
“I am honored to receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at The ESPYS,” said Kelly in a statement. “It’s humbling to now be included on the long list of inspirational and courageous recipients of this prestigious award. I’d like to thank The V Foundation and ESPN for my consideration, as well as, for all of the incredible work they do for cancer research. They truly do ‘make a difference today for someone who is fighting for their tomorrow.'”
Kelly quarterbacked the Bills from 1986-1994, leading the team to four consecutive Super Bowls from 1991-94. He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Kelly will be the second Buffalo Bills player to receive the award. Kevin Everett was honored in 2008 after his recovery from a life-threatening cervical spine injury that threatened his ability to walk again. Past recipients include Eric LeGrand, Anthony Robles, George Karl, Dick and Rick Hoyt, Stuart Scott, Devon and Leah Still, Craig Sager and Jarrius Robertson.
The women who accused former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
The 2018 ESPYS will air on ABC Wednesday, July 18. The awards will be hosted by the recently-retired Danica Patrick.