Jim Kelly is best known as the NFL Hall of Famer who took his Buffalo Bills teams to four consecutive Super Bowls from 1990 to 1993. But he joined Chad on The Morning Sports Page Thursday to let us in on his true passion, helping children with diseases.
Jim’s son Hunter was diagnosed with a fatal disease at the age of four months and he and the family had to deal with the struggles of raising a son and sibling with no motor skills – all while knowing that his life would be taken from them at an early age.
Kelly suggests that the process is one of the most difficult processes he’s ever had to work through but he had the help of his wife Jill, the greatest women he’s ever known, to share the responsibility.
As he states, “The unconditional love that she’s showed our son and our two daughters – and the forgiveness she’s shown me for the screw ups I’ve made – I cannot write on paper what she has meant to our family and my walk to be a better father and a better husband.”
Since the death of his son, Kelly and his wife have made it their life’s mission to legislate better testing for diseases amongst new born children in hopes that governments and hospitals will take the necessary steps to ensure that all children have the right to a full and healthy life. If nothing else, better and more thorough testing can provide children and families with treatment so that children do not have to go their entire lives living in pain.
As a result, more children’s lives will be saved and made better and less families will be torn apart because of the challenges.
If you would like to get more involved in helping children and families of children with diseases, the Kelly’s have set up multiple foundations for support.
The Kelly for Kids foundation serves disadvantaged and disabled youth in Western New York through distribution of grant money. And the Hunter’s Hope Foundation aims to study myelin and its diseases in order to find treatments and a cure for Krabbe and other Leukodystrophies.
And for families that may be dealing with challenges of raising a mentally or physically handicapped child, we encourage you to check out Jill Kelly’s book “Without a Word” and be on the lookout for her new book “Etched Upon Her Heart” which will get released in January.