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Jim Kelly and James Conner Cancer Survivors Unite at Pro Bowl ... 'Never Give Up!'

1/25/2019 8:35 AM PST

Jim Kelly and James Conner, Cancer Survivors Unite at Pro Bowl

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Cool moment at the Pro Bowl -- two NFL stars who battled cancer and WON bonded in Orlando this week ... which makes this pic of Jim Kelly and James Conner inspiring as hell. 

Obviously, Conner made the Pro Bowl after balling out with the Pittsburgh Steelers this year -- and Kelly is there as an assistant for the AFC squad. 

Conner's story is pretty amazing -- he was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2015 after a stellar junior year at Pitt. He underwent months of chemotherapy and was declared cancer-free in 2016. 

58-year-old Kelly was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his jaw in 2013 and has undergone several major surgeries since ... including a major reconstructive procedure in 2018. 

So, when they spotted each other on the sidelines of the Pro Bowl practice in Orlando on Thursday, they had an instant connection. 

"These two know the game of football," Jim's wife, Jill Kelly, wrote ... "And they know cancer. Superstars and survivors...NEVER GIVE UP!"

Kelly, Conner and the rest of the AFC will take on the NFC on Sunday -- and ya better be rooting extra hard for these guys! 

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