Kevin Reilly introduces himself and invites you to join him at the 20th Annual Catholic Men's Conference in Oklahoma.
Former NFL Player, Cancer Survivor, Amputee and Motivational Speaker
Exploring the Four F’s of Life: Faith, Family, Friends and Fortitude
OFFICIAL BIO: Kevin was originally drafted from Villanova by the Miami Dolphins in 1973 in the seventh round[, although later that year he returned to his Wilmington, DE home and joined the Philadelphia Eagles serving as captain of the squad's special teams for two seasons before ending his career with the New England Patriots.
In 1976, shortly after beginning his NFL career, Kevin was diagnosed with a rare scar tissue tumor known as desmoid tumor. This effectively ended his career in football. He then underwent multiple surgeries that were unsuccessful in curing the cancer, ultimately undergoing a 11 1/2 hour surgery in 1979 at Memorial Sloan Kettering to remove his left arm, shoulder and five ribs. Recovery from surgery was difficult and Reilly suffered significant depression but was able to overcome it at least in part due to the support of another NFL player who overcame similar physical trauma from injury in the Vietnam War, Rocky Bleier.
After surgery, Kevin worked hard at rehabilitation to overcome the limitations the experts said he would have. He learned to tie a necktie with one hand, to play golf with one hand, and ran 5 half marathons and in the Marine Corps Marathon.
He went on to a 30 year career with Xerox and now in retirement is a sports radio broadcaster, appearing on Eagles' pregame and postgame shows. He also does motivational speaking, sharing his story with cancer patients, recuperating soldiers, and special needs student He also counseled victim of the Boston Marathon Bombings.
Kevin Reilly may have lost his arm to cancer, but the former Philadelphia Eagles football player gained something in return: a unique understanding of what it takes to fight back and win.
Kevin's story isn't merely about survival, it is a tale about Faith, resilience of the human spirit and rising from the ashes. Kevin reveals his experience with finding strength when your greatest adversary is yourself. Continuing on and winning small victories day-by-day without a stadium full of fans to cheer you on, but only the faintest whisper from above telling you that sometimes you have to fall to fly.
Kevin's talk emphasizes his key to winning in life, the 4 F's: Faith, Family, Friends, and Fortitude. In this day and age, we are quickly becoming a nation of victims, allowing adversities and challenges to overwhelm the skills and blessings that God has given us to handle the crosses we face. Reilly speaks from the heart and uses his own life as a lesson on how all of us can prevail from bad situations, adversity and pain to find the very best in ourselves.