Dan Marino says Jim Kelly is staying tough as he fights cancer

Dan Marino and Jim Kelly both grew up in Pittsburgh, became college football stars, first-round picks in the 1983 NFL draft and Pro Football Hall of Famers. Now as Kelly battles cancer, Marino is in his corner.

Marino told Tim Graham of the Buffalo News that he visited Kelly in the hospital and found a tough guy who’s fighting for his life.

It’s hard to even understand what he’s going through,” Marino said. “Jim is a dear friend. You just wish the best for him. He’s a tough guy, you know? He’s at a point in his life that — he’s won a lot of football games and whatever — he’s in the fight for his life. He’ll win.”

Jim’s wife, Jill Kelly, posted a photo of Marino along with Kelly’s University of Miami coach Howard Schnellenberger and former Bills General Manager Bill Polian during a hospital visit. The picture shows the toll that chemotherapy has taken on Kelly, who shaved his head after he began to lose his hair and has lost weight.

“You’re so used to seeing Jim as a strong man,” Marino said. “But he’s going to get better. All we can do is pray for him and hope for the best.”

All football fans are wishing Kelly the best.