Jim Kelly Says He'll Receive Jimmy V Award at 2018 ESPYs

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2018

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 17:  Hall of Fame quarterbacks Dan Marino (left) and Jim Kelly (right) talk before the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins at New Era Field on December 17, 2017 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeats Miami 24-16.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly announced he will receive the 2018 Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPYs in July.

“God willing I’ll be there,” Kelly told reporters at his golf tournament in Batavia, New York.

Kelly, 58, has dealt with jaw cancer and various complications for much of the last five years. He was first diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in 2013. In March, Kelly announced the cancer had returned, three-and-a-half years after he was declared cancer-free.

"The good Lord has put me in this situation to help not only the people out there who are suffering from cancer, but little kids, too, who are going through tough times to never give up, to keep fighting because you never know," Kelly told reporters.

The Jimmy V Award is named after former North Carolina State University men's basketball coach Jimmy Valvano, who died of cancer at age 47 in 1993. His "don't ever give up" speech at the 1993 ESPYs is widely recognized as one of the most inspirational in sports history.

Kelly is scheduled to undergo another operation June 21, which will add tissue to his mouth to help it function normally. He is currently unable to eat solid foods.

The Jimmy V Award is given to "a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination."

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The 2008 award was given to Bills tight end Kevin Everett, who was paralyzed from the neck down during a game in 2007. Everett began walking again through rehabilitation.