Football Hall of Famer speaks about perseverance at Lifespan’s Celebration of Aging

Football Hall of Famer speaks about perseverance at Lifespan’s Celebration of Aging

Jim Kelly believes everyone goes through tough times and it’s one’s attitude that determines how they will fare.  

Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“It’s important to never give up; to keep going,” said Kelly, the former Buffalo Bills quarterback, who was the guest speaker at Lifespan’s 26th Celebration of Aging luncheon on Thursday afternoon.  

The sold-out event – which was held at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center – drew some 1,850 people.  

Kelly’s talk focused on his journey of perseverance, both professionally as a quarterback with the Buffalo Bills and personally as a father and husband.

Kelly – who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002 – faced his share of challenges, including battling a near career ending injury in college and multiple Super Bowl losses, as well the death of his eight-year-old son, Hunter, in 2008 from Krabbe disease and his own four-time battle with cancer.  

When asked what helped keep him going, he said there were four things: faith, family, friends and fans.  

“All have helped me change my life for good,” Kelly said.  

Also at the event Ann Marie Cook, Lifespan’s president and CEO, spoke of ageism, its negative connotation and widespread reach.

“It’s one ‘ism’ that may affect all of us,” she said. 

Cook also praised the 180-person workforce at Lifespan, as well as its many volunteers, who she said are vital to the organization’s success.  

Additionally, several people were recognized for their work in the field.  

Daniel Mendelson, MD, with Jewish Senior Life, received the Carter Catlett Williams Award for Excellence in Aging or Long-term Care Services.  

Lifespan also recognized six second half hero honorees. They were Viola Curry, Phyllis Jackson, Doris Marsh, Marvin Robinson, Frank Seiler and Teresa Schreiber Werth. 

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