"It's hard to fathom that I'm getting that old," Jim Kelly says, "But you know what? I guess it's a blessing that I have."
Through personal and professional heartbreak –the death of his 8 year old son, Hunter, a public battle with cancer, and of course four straight Super Bowl losses – Kelly and his family have become an inspiring example of toughness, courage, and perseverance for Bills fans and casual observers alike.
In a brief interview with WGR550 just days before his 55th birthday, Kelly reflected on his football life and beyond.
"I'm glad I've gotten to be 55, with all the stuff I've been through in the last two years of life in general. But I'll tell you what. I've made it this far and I'm doing all right and enjoying my life."
"I know it's an old cliché," said Kelly. "But I would do it ten times over again because I had so much fun.
"When I played for the Bills, we enjoyed ourselves. We had fun. I've had more fun in my life than most people can have in 100 years.
"I have no complaints whatsoever. Yeah you can have health issues, we all do, but you don't complain about them, you just keep moving on and hope that tomorrow you wake up and you're not quite as sore as you were the day before."
As has been the case for each of the last 17 years, Kelly and his family plan to spend his and Hunter's shared birthday – Valentine's Day – bringing people together at the annual Day of Hope and Prayer for Children. Hosted from 1-4-p.m. at the ADPRO Sports Fieldhouse, local families and children of all ages are invited to enjoy music, games, face painting, food, and more – all at no charge.
As for what's next for Kelly and his beloved Bills – check out the interview to catch his thoughts on EJ Manuel's future in Buffalo, and what might have happened if Kelly had played with Richie Incognito.
Photos of the Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly.