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PHOTOS & VIDEO: Jim Kelly Fights Cancer; Jill Talks of Prayer

(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.

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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?
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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.

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"Spreading the word of religion, getting people to pray, those goals have always been quick to be adopted into new technology,  Churches were among the very first institutions to operate radio stations" says Prof. Robert Thompson at Syracuse University's Blier Center for the Study of TV and Pop Culture.

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.

Buisch, a Presbyterian minister with a congregation in North Tonawanda, is also part of  a campus  coalition of  Presbyterian, United Methodist, American Baptist, Episcopal, and other churches. He says social media's ability to amplify prayer is important.

"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

Filed Under :  
Topics : Religion_Belief
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People : Jill KellyJill TalksJim KellyThurman Thomas
03/28/2014 6:55AM
PHOTOS & VIDEO: Jim Kelly Fights Cancer; Jill Talks of Prayer
Is it right for prayer to be so public? Do you believe?
03/28/2014 8:33AM
Jim Kelly
So glad to have the opportunity to say that I am praying for Jim for a quick recovery. I know my prayers and those of others will help him. They are the best medicine. Hang in there Jim!
03/28/2014 8:51AM
It's good to see they still have a sense of humor.
03/28/2014 8:55AM
prayer is the best medicine. you know everyone is praying for you. also strength in numbers. all my prayers and thoughts to you and your family. love the fasanellos peace and love ♥♥♥
03/28/2014 8:56AM
The Power of Prayer
Every prayer offered gets heard. No man is an island. We are all in this together and that is what we are all on this earth for is to pray and care for each other. Many thanks to you Jill for keeping us updated. Praying just as much for you and family also.
03/28/2014 9:40AM
Public Prayer
Of course! It's still a free country!
03/28/2014 10:14AM
lockport girl
why not! again, why not believe!
03/28/2014 11:17AM
Only the best thoughts for a winner.
Thoughts and prayers for your speedy recovery. May the peace of the lord be with you and your family. Jim and Joan from South Florida.
03/28/2014 12:27PM
Absolutely!!!!! I'm a walking miracle because of Prayer
I was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer last year, at the time Jim was diagnosed and had surgery. Prayers WORK! I felt the prayers of my church family, and am cancer free! Only chemo protocol was used. As a walking miracle from the disease,I can positively say, without any doubt, Prayer Works! We all need prayers of others be it someone famous or not famous. There is NOTHING wrong with giving us updates, to inspire us in our prayer life for those who need it!
03/28/2014 12:56PM
Prayer in public??
Our society is reaping the negative consequences of trying to diminish prayer! Everything that is demeaning, destructive, & demoralizing is allowed to be seen & experienced & has been rapidly ripping apart our children & adults. Prayer has been PROVEN to bring strength, comfort, encouragement, help, hope & peace! There is power in prayer!!! Prayers for Jim & Jill from Allen
03/28/2014 6:30PM
Hang in there Jim K.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Kelly family. I am so glad I lived in the Bill's Super Bowl era. I believe in the Power of Prayer.
03/29/2014 6:52PM
Prayers do help!
Believing in prayers will help you to a speedy recover, God be with you! Joe and Donna
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