(WBEN) Doctors treating Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly are using all their medical skills. His wife, is using social media and prayer.
The latest step beyond televangelism of years gone by, the use of social media for such messages isn't new, but is perhaps more powerful because of Kelly's celebrity. Ministers say it could even amplify the prayerful returns that both Kelly and those who pray for him receive.
|Exclusive WBEN Audio
On The WBEN Liveline
Rev. Jerry Gillis, The Chapel at Crosspoint
"It's a different day isn't it?", asks the Rev. Jerry Gillis, the Kelly's pastor at The Chapel At Crosspoint in Amherst.
" Just a number of years ago these were things that were held on very privately and the only way you would get into a hospital room is with a televison camera and that normally never happened. Now with social media what they are doing is taking the opportunity to be quite public about walking through this and walking through this as people of faith."
In her husband's current cancer battle, Jill Kelly has often has taken to social media- mostly Instagram and Twitter- to share updates on Jim's health, sending along photos, and open mentions of prayer -- as she did in this caption to a recent photo of Jim and his dad.
(See the photo of Jim and his Dad at his hospital beside below)
|Are You Comfortable With Prayers Being so Public? Do You Believe?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Facebook.com/WBEN930
or At The Bottom of This Page
Doctors treating the Hall of Fame quarterback say he will not immediately undergo surgery for a recurrence of cancer. Instead, the longtime Buffalo Bills star will likely first be treated with chemotherapy and radiation, according to a statement from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Kelly underwent surgery in Buffalo last June to remove a squamous cell carcinoma from his upper jaw. He had been expected to undergo additional surgery this week after the cancer was found to have returned.
"Jim Kelly's condition remains very treatable and potentially curable," Dr. Peter Costantino said a statement. "Our immediate focus is on controlling his pain and beginning the process of eradicating the cancer."
In a video posting Thursday (below) Jim Kelly can be heard laughing with former teammate Thurman Thomas- in good spirits, while Jill continues to post inspirational, unabashedly religious messages.
Faith was also a theme in all the public comments about their infant son Hunter's struggle with Krabbe Disease that ended with his death in 2005.
Born in 1997, on his dad's birthday, Hunter was given no more than three years to live after being diagnosed an inherited degenerative disorder of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Outspoken about her Christian faith, the power of prayer has been a theme in many of Jill Kelly's social media posts, usually under the hashtag "#Prayfor JK"
^^ Above photo from Jill Kelly's Instagram & Twitter feeds
Related Story: One of those who is praying for Jim Kelly now says prayers from Kelly helped save his own life years ago.
HEAR Mike Billoni on The WBEN Liveline
Rev. Stuart Buisch at the University of Buffalo's Campus Church Connexion Ministry, has used the medium to reach students, and says that faithful people are doing what they must; being relevant and reaching the masses.
"It seems to me that social media, twitter, these types are having such an impact across the generations," he says adding that he isn't sure if the vast amount of social media users go to places like instagram for prayer, but certainly can find it there," he adds.
Certainly the gospels talk about 'where two or three are gathered',"
- Rev. Stuart Buisch
UB Campus Church Connexion
& North Presbyterian Church in N. Tona.
"When you have one person, whether they are a known celebrity or an unknown homeless person, we journey together," he says. "... We go asking for rain. But somebody in the journey asking for rain, may need a piece of bread, which was never asked for, but ends up being received because this wave was asking for rain"
Below: Jill's latest photo, of Jim in the Hospital with teammate and friend Thurman Thomas, working on a puzzle. In a related video she posted (below), Thurman and Jim have completed the puzzle and joke about how it resembles one of his other teammates.
From Jill Kelly's Instagram- He's some video of Jim and Thurman Thomas working on that puzzle in the hospital.
Via Jill Kelly's Instagram-- here's a recent photo of Jim and his dad. The prayerful message she attached is above