Buffalo, NY (CNN) - Hall of Fame quarterback and former Buffalo Bills star Jim Kelly is being treated for a cancer recurrence.
WGRZ-TV in Buffalo was the first to report that the 54-year-old would begin receiving treatment in New York City early next week:
BREAKING: #Buffalo #Bills HOF QB Jim Kelly being treated for a cancer recurrence. He leaves Monday for treatment in NYC. #PrayersForJim
2:05 PM - 14 Mar 2014
he Bills released a statement on the team's website:
Jim Kelly came to ECMC this week for continued testing related to his oral surgery. Unfortunately, it has been determined that his cancer has returned. Our team of head and neck cancer specialists is determining a course of treatment that will allow Mr. Kelly to battle this cancer successfully. Mr. Kelly has asked that you to keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
In early June 2013, Kelly announced that he was battling cancer of the jaw and underwent surgery a few days later on June 7. At the time, Kelly thought that sharing his struggle was the best way to assist his fight, per The Associated Press (via USA Today):
"The past couple of weeks have been difficult for me," he said. "Because of the nature of social media, I thought it would be best to share with everyone what has been going on with my health."
When Kelly first announced his battle with cancer in June 2013, former Bills general manager and friend Bill Polian offered his thoughts on the situation, per the AP:
The first thought is you say a prayer that everything works out OK. Secondly, he didn't earn a reputation as the toughest guy ever to play quarterback for no reason at all. So if anybody can overcome this, Jim can. He takes challenges head on.
It remains to be seen for how long Kelly will have to undergo treatment and what his prognosis looks like moving forward, but regardless, the five-time Pro Bowler is unlikely to lose focus or faith anytime soon.
Last summer, Kelly admitted that he was confident heading into the initial recovery process and backed up Polian's remarks by confirming his game plan of attacking the challenge "head on," per the AP:
"I am extremely confident in my road to recovery," he said. "I plan to tackle this challenge head on, as we Kelly s always do, with toughness perseverance and faith."
Kelly, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2002, led the Bills to the Super Bowl in four consecutive seasons from 1990 to 1993. Unfortunately, Buffalo came up short on each try.
A former first-round pick in the 1983 NFL draft, Kelly played 11 seasons in Buffalo following a brief stint in the United States Football League. Despite having no titles to show for his efforts, his impressive numbers and overall success in the Bills' no-huddle offense have earned him legend status in Buffalo.