Devon Still’s daughter Leah, ‘Still in the Game’
One of the most emotional stories of the 2014 NFL season was that of Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still who's daughter Leah was diagnosed with neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer. Their fight became a national story that included an inspirational appearance at the "ESPY's," where Devon and Leah Still received the Jimmy V Award for their determination and perseverance in the face of cancer. They've appeared on "The Today Show" and People Magazine among others.
Leah will be 4 years in remission on March 25 and Devon, who was born in Camden , attended Penn State and along with the Bengals went on to play for the Houston Texans and New York Jets is now a life coach, motivational speaker and childhood cancer advocate. He has launched a company and a new book called "Still in the Game: Finding the Faith to Tackle Life’s Biggest Challenges." In it Devon tells the story of Leah's journey and his fight to help his daughter during that 2014 season where she was first diagnosed and beyond.
During that time, the Bengals moved Still to the active roster so that he could qualify for the benefits to treat his daughter. They also allowed the Devon's jersey to be sold in order to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research and the Cincinnati Bengal's Children's Hospital. $400k in sales were raised in four days and Devon's jersey donation sales totaled nearly a million dollars! It was only the beginning.
On October 5, 2014, during a game with the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Massachusetts, a music video was shown on the stadium's video screen featuring Still's daughter. The Patriots cheerleaders wore Still's' jersey and Patriots owner Robert Kraft was donating $25,000 to Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Leah's name.
Leah's diagnosis came just a few weeks after he was baptized and he tells a story of praying in the hospital chapel asking for a sign that God really existed. It was then that the walls shook and still's faith was confirmed.
What advice would Still give to parents dealing with childhood cancer? "It's the same for anybody struggling in life right now," Still said. "They just don't feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel. No matter what you're going through, No matter what the odds are, Leah's odds were 50% of beating this disease. No matter what the doctors are telling you, no matter what anybody's telling you, you have to remember that you're 'Still in the Game,' and you can't give up and you have to fight 4 quarters, like I did with my daughter."
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