Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly received the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance Wednesday at the 2018 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles.
The Jimmy V Award is presented annually to the individual who has persevered to overcome obstacles in their lives. Former recipients include former ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, former NBA reporter Craig Sager and most recently, 15-year-old New Orleans Saints super fan Jarrius Robertson.
Kelly, 58, has fought squamous cell carcinoma in his jaw since being diagnosed in 2013.
The former first round Draft pick out of Miami who played 11 seasons with the Buffalo Bills was emotionally moved Wednesday after receiving the award from former NFL quarterbacks and rivals John Elway and Dan Marino.
In his acceptance speech, Kelly spoke of his family— both biological and strangers that became part of his family.
“Make a difference today for someone who is fighting for their tomorrow,” Kelly said in his acceptance speech. “When I look across this arena and when I talk to people and I look at people, you don’t need to be a Russell Wilson, an Aaron Rodgers to make a difference out there. Every single person in this room can be a difference maker… What you say, the simile you have on your face, that could be the difference in them making it into the next day.
“Remember that: always, always persevere.”