“Kelly Tough” became a household phrase in the last year as many in America watched and supported Jim Kelly during his second battle with cancer. Now in the book, Kelly Tough, readers will be encouraged to find that this kind of toughness isn’t just a Kelly thing, but a way of life for all of us. We’ve known Jim for years. He’s tough, determined, and stout-hearted. But to know his daughter and read about her courage in action as she stepped up to care for her dad, that’s something admirable that we might all aspire to emulate. Yet, as you’ll discover when you read this book, it’s not about the Kellys at all but about finding strength and courage in the midst of life’s trials. Well done!”



“The expression Kelly Tough has become like a brand unto itself. And no one epitomizes that more than 19-year-old Erin Kelly, the firstborn child of Jim and Jill Kelly. Beautiful like her mother and feisty like her father, Erin writes eloquently and intimately about faith, family and football, a cliché expression for so many but one that she embraces with all the gusto of a Jim Kelly fist pump. I’ve always believed that if you want to truly learn about people look at how their kids turn out. Erin Kelly is a Hall of Fame daughter and sister and her stories and insights will touch and inspire you.”

—ANDREA KREMER, multi-award-winning journalist


“Kelly Tough is a beautiful, true, imperfect love story. It’s a study in toughness made of more than sheer grit, but the inner kind that turns regular people into warriors. With raw honesty, the Kellys have taken their trademark family strength and turned it into a paperback jewel of hard-earned wisdom for the reader. I’ve cheered and cried and learned with every page. This book will move people. It has moved me.”

—LISA WHITTLE, speaker, author of {w}hole and I Want God


“We have watched Erin Kelly grow from a beautiful, caring, young girl to a soldier. This young woman became a soldier while wearing her “Kelly Tough” armor. She fought bravely when her father was weak and in great pain while battling cancer. Wouldn’t we all be so blessed to have a daughter who would abandon the frivolity and innocence of youth to crawl through the trenches, to go all-in and battle for us? Erin did this while simultaneously keeping the faith—not only keeping it, but growing in it. How beautiful is that? Kelly Tough is a read for everyone, everywhere, and at anytime. You will turn over the last page of this book feeling deeply inspired and armed to battle for the people you love most.”



“Becoming friends with the Kelly family over the last few years has been a true inspiration, not only to the two of us, but to the entire faculty, staff, and student body of Liberty University. We are proud that Erin Kelly, the older daughter of Jim and Jill Kelly, chose to attend this university. We have watched her mature into an articulate young lady who has demonstrated to so many others how to courageously face life’s trials and tribulations with faith, dignity, and optimism. Jim and Jill exhibit these same traits and I believe their story—as told by Erin—will give you strength for your own life’s journey, no matter how difficult your circumstances might be.”

—JERRY FALWELL (president of Liberty University) and MRS. BECKI FALWELL


“When you play in the NFL, you’re part of a bigger family. That’s what Jim Kelly and his children are: family! I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to see firsthand the relationship that Jim and Erin have. This book is about that and so much more. Reading this will encourage you and hopefully as a result will strengthen the relationships you have with the people you love most.”

—DAN MARINO, NFL Hall of Fame, Special Advisor to CEO and President of Miami Dolphins


“I have known the Kelly Family for many years and have witnessed what it looks like to be “Kelly Tough” on and off the football field. However, what I have learned through watching Jim and his daughter Erin during Jim’s cancer fight far eclipses the best of the best. This book is an account of what it takes to live with courage in the midst of some of life’s most difficult circumstances. Well done, Erin! Your NFL family is proud of you.”

—BILL POLIAN, 2015 NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinee and ESPN NFL Analyst