ECPA's Rush To Press

Kelly Tough by Erin Kelly, daughter of NFL Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, launches with major national media

Media Contact: Shanon Stowe

RACINE, Wis., (May 14, 2015)NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly’s fight against cancer has been a very public battle, garnering widespread support and attention from both media and football fans. In her new book, Kelly Tough: Live Courageously by Faith (BroadStreet Publishing, May 2015), Jim’s oldest daughter Erin Kelly shares the not-so-public ups and downs of the family’s journey as they watched their father and husband fight the toughest opponent of his life—cancer.

The book will launch on May 18 with major national media over the coming weeks that includes: interviews with the TODAY show in the 8am and 10am hours, FOX & Friends, ESPN, ESPN2, The NFL Network, CBS Sports Radio, CBS Sports TV, TheBlaze, Fox News Radio, SiriusXM, Yahoo Sports, The 700 Club and much more. Parade will include the book in a Father’s Day feature and CBS This Morning will air a special interview taped at the Kellys home.  

“Cancer wasn’t supposed to be a part of my story,” writes Kelly. “Our family experienced the heart-shattering loss of my younger brother Hunter in 2005. When you go through something like that, you kind of assume that you’ve been through the worst and that the other shoe dropped when the first one did. But that’s not the case with our family.”

In the past decade, the Kelly family—Jim, his wife Jill, and daughters Erin and Camryn—have faced the death of their son and brother Hunter, who was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy, the fatal disease that took his life at eight and a half years old, and Jim’s life-threatening diagnosis, removal and return of squamous-cell carcinoma of the upper jawbone. 

In Kelly Tough, Erin shares the love, faith and meaning behind the mantra that binds them together and pulls them through life’s greatest struggles. She also reveals unknown details of her father’s battle against cancer—candid family moments as they learned of treatment successes and setbacks, forgiving those who brought death wishes against her father, supporting her father from afar while in college in Lynchburg, Virginia, cancer victims who deeply impacted the family, weekend visits to the toughest man she knew, fighting with all he had for the little life left in him—along with never-before-seen photos and journal entries.

“Seeing him cry only made me cry more—my big, tough father who was slammed to the turf by blitzing linebackers day after day…only to rebound and put six points on the scoreboard. But there was no linebacker, and the numbers we were following were very different from the numbers on the scoreboard as he sat across from me with tears rolling down his cheeks. This wasn’t football; it was the game of life! Getting thrown for a loss in this forum meant losing a lot more than yardage.”

Featuring a foreword from Sports Illustrated Senior Writer and NFL Columnist Peter King, as well as a letter from the legend Jim Kelly himself, readers will learn valuable life lessons and be inspired by the wisdom, maturity, and determined faith of young Erin Kelly as she candidly shares her family’s strength in weakness, hope in the midst of heartache, and joy in spite of suffering in Kelly Tough

Jim Kelly writes, “I’m ever mindful that although toughness is my trademark, I’ve come to learn through suffering that weakness and humility are of greater worth in God’s sight. It is in my weakness that God is strong, not my strength or ability to take a hit and still score. Because of His power and victory, through Him, in my weakness I am more than a conqueror—over sin, defeat, cancer, and death.”

About the Authors

Erin Kelly is the oldest daughter of Jim and Jill Kelly. She has always had a passion for writing, journaling, and sharing her faith. A sought-after speaker to young women, Erin has co-authored 5 books with her sister, Camryn. She is a Strategic Communications major studying at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

Jill Kelly is the wife of retired Buffalo Bills Quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. She is a speaker and the author of several books including the New York Times bestseller Without A Word. She and Jim live in Buffalo with their daughters.