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Kelly's Buffalo return was turning point in cancer fight

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Is any NFL community winning at life more at the moment than the one in Buffalo?

The blizzard that battered the region made national headlines as it interrupted many people's lives with record-setting snow accumulations, including displacing a Bills' game last week.

Overcoming that event alone would be enough to recognize Buffalo and their Bills. But that wasn't even close to the best news of the past week.

Prior to Thanksgiving a heart-wrenching story by the Buffalo News' Tim Graham detailed the spiraling life of former Bills linebacker Darryl Talley. The 54-year-old, who played for the Bills from 1982 to 1994, told Graham he suffered from depression, lost his business and had thoughts of suicide.

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"I'm not convinced I'm dead yet, but the future doesn't look bright," Talley told Graham.

(You really should read the entire story; it's fantastically told.)

Following the article, the outpouring of support for Talley has cascaded.

One fan, Frank Croisdale, set up a page on the crowd funding website "GoFundMe" that, as of the publishing of this post, has raised $126,731 for Talley from 2,800 people in three days.

"I'm not surprised about the fans of the Buffalo Bills, what they did with their hearts and with their pocket books," Croisdale told ESPN.com. "I am surprised by the number, the magnitude and the speed at which it took off."

Those hearts of Buffalo don't just beat for Talley.

Jim Kelly credits the people of Buffalo with helping keep him alive after several bouts with cancer.

In an interview with NFL Media's Andrea Kremer that aired on NFL GameDay Morning, Kelly said the support he's gotten from the community has kept him going.

"To be honest with you, I don't know if I'd have been able to make it anywhere else," Kelly said.

Kelly's wife, Jill, said their return from New York (where he was receiving treatment) to Buffalo inspired him.

"There is no doubt in my mind that coming back to Buffalo was the turning point for Jim," Jill Kelly said. "We literally went from one hospital in New York to one hospital in Buffalo and he came to life."

Kelly will lead the Bills out onto the Ralph Wilson Stadium field today before the game against the Cleveland Browns. Kelly told NFL Media's Steve Mariucci that he planned to don Talley's jersey when he makes the run out of the tunnel, which is a fitting circle for the support they share from the people of Buffalo.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the Week 13 games and reacts to the news of RGIII's benching in D.C. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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