I have never been a person to be “star struck” or in “awe” of a big celebrity, I never saw the purpose of feeling that way. Because of what I do, I have met several big name celebrities including people you know like former Denver Broncos and NFL Hall of Fame Players John Elway and Terrel Davis. I have also met an befriended other celebrities that may not be as well-known like John Ashton, who most people know from his officer Taggart role in Beverly Hills Cop, who is an amazing movie role player.
When I happen to see a celebrity out in public, I usually go about my business and leave them alone to enjoy their day or evening. Until last week when I was in Scottsdale, Arizona and ran across Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills Quarterback Jim Kelly. I was at one of the outside fire pits enjoying a cocktail like many people were, when I looked over across the couch and there he was doing the same. I wasn’t in awe of his celebrity status because of his football history, but more how he had used his celebrity status after his career ended. My girlfriend had no idea who he was, so I had to explain. I told her, “he’s a hall of fame quarterback, that like me survived cancer…not once, but twice. He’s used his fame to chronicle what he went through, laying in a hospital bed with one of his daughters so sick he could barely move. He used his faith, strong will, and loving support of his family and friends to get through it all. In an interview, he once even looked up to heaven and told God, “Ok, Uncle, you got me.” Of course, in telling her his story he overheard me and I introduced myself and told him how inspirational his cancer story had been to me. He immediately asked, “You’re a survivor, aren’t you?” I said, “Yes sir, stage IV Breast Cancer Survivor.” He then looked over at the waitress and said, “their drinks are on me.” Jim Kelly, celebrity because of his quarterback caree, but hero of mine because of his ability to share his cancer story. Either way, a total class act. By the way Mr. Kelly, thanks for the drink! Cheers!