During times when you feel the despair of unfortunate circumstances in your life taking over, Kevin Reilly is there to lift your spirits with his inspiring life, which was transformed by his great tragedy. Who is Kevin Reilly? Is he just another ex-NFL player, amputee and cancer survivor? Oh, no. He is the one that went from “third and long to first and goal.” Playing for his hometown team, The Philadelphia Eagles, and feeling on top of the world as the captain of the special teams, he ran out of the tunnel on game day to the Steelers AstroTurf. During that game, in a brutal collision with a fellow opponent, his shoulder was injured. The events after the injury were unexpected and devastating. Scar tissue formed, which progressed to Desmoid scar tissue, and a tumor was strangling his blood vessels and organs. The doctors operated to save his life; a radical Forequarter Amputation left Kevin with no left arm, no shoulder and five of his ribs.
He accepted the support of a football friend, who had his own suffering, and he found a compelling reason to have a great life, regardless his dark reality. The doctors were proven wrong about his definite limitations, forecasted then. Kevin Reilly was back to work within two months, having since a wonderful career (recently retired after 30 years) with Xerox. Now he is working as the first handicapped broadcaster in the NFL with similar careers in College Sports. He astonishes his fans by his ability to tie his own tie, play golf with one hand and racquetball as a non-handicapped player, in addition to completing six half and one full marathon!!!
Kevin is resilient. He has faced many adversities, but did not let them consume him. When his marriage broke up, his Catholic faith, an unsurpassed will, and support from loved ones pulled him through. When it was obvious that he had an issue with alcohol, he joined AA and moved on to a new journey with a life of sobriety.
Kevin Reilly may have lost some in his battle with cancer, but he gained a lot in understanding what it takes to survive. He now enjoys being a motivational speaker, who connects with his audience in many personal ways. He is enlightening, inspirational and entertaining. He believes that the man who wins is the man who thinks he can win. He is a tremendous support to the amputee soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Most importantly, he gives others a reason to smile, especially during days when it seems hardest to hold on.
Kevin supports the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation, and he will participate in their annual 5K Run while also funding research to answer more questions about this tumor. “There is no such thing as magic, but there are miracles; you’ve just got to believe!” -Kevin Reilly.
Here is to my Hall of Fame Insightful Player Kevin Reilly.
Until next time, Chrissy Carew
Founder and Head Coach, Insightful Player, LLC
To Follow me on Twitter, go to http://Twitter.com/InsightfulPlayr