Photo: TODAY show
After then Cincinnati Bengals lineman Devon Still’s daughter Leah was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma in June of 2014, she was given a 50-50 chance to live. However, despite the doctors’ reports, Still used his platform to raise awareness and be a beacon of hope for people across the nation.
Before getting cut from the Bengals in September of 2015, the team raised $1.25 million for cancer research by selling over 15,000 Devon Still jerseys. Leah was also declared cancer free in March of the same year. She went on to win the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2015 ESPYs for her incredible courage.
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June 2, 2014 and March 25, 2015 are days I will remember for the rest of my life. As everyone probably knows, June 2nd was the day doctors walked into the waiting room to tell me my daughter had cancer. It was the most devastating day of my life. March 25th , however, is feeling like the best day of my life. Today we received news from Leah’s oncologist that her cancer, stage four neuroblastoma, is officially in REMISSION! After 296 days of day dreaming about what it would feel like to hear the doctors say my daughter is in remission, I finally know the feeling. Funny thing is there is really no way of describing it because I never knew this feeling existed. When I look at my daughter all I can do is smile and hug her. It was not easy but every day, and every treatment Leah fought like hell and kicked cancers butt! I’m so proud and blessed to call her my daughter. She has made an impact on me and on the world, at the age of four, that I can only wish to make in a lifetime. Thank you to my family and friends for the support through all those tough days. Thank you to everyone who has sent a letter to give Leah and our family motivation to keep fighting, a toy that helped Leah get through her days in the hospital, and more importantly a prayer that helped God hear our cries for healing. Thank you to the doctors at CHOP for putting together the best plan of action for my daughter. Thank you to Child Life members Sarah, Laura, and Lindsey for really turning what could be a scary place into a place where Leah would enjoy going because she knew she would have fun with you guys. Thank you to the Bengals for taking on my situation and standing by me and my family and for helping to raise money to fight pediatric cancer. To every media outlet and persons that helped raise much needed awareness, thank you. Leah is not done with treatments yet. She still needs more to make sure the cancer cells do not return and to build back up her immune system and other damage from the chemo but I know my little warrior will get through it! #FistBump #LeahStrong #BeatCancer #TheFightAgainstChildhoodCancerIsFarFromOver #ThrowingTheBiggestKidPartyEver #WaitForIt
It has been three years since Leah was declared cancer-free, however, last week Leah’s dad took to Instagram to share a concern doctor’s had over a recent scan.
“Last night I went to bed with a heavy heart not knowing what today had in store. But when I woke up to the outpouring of support it gave me a sense of calmness. As you can see in the picture, the prayers worked! Although the scans still showed something, it’s very faint and they can confirm it’s not cancer! Thank you everyone!”
Still, who retired from the NFL in 2017, has a new book called “Still in the Game,” that he hopes will help other families facing childhood cancer, as well as encourage all those struggling with life’s challenges.
At 8 years old, Leah Still remains Leah Strong and an inspiration to us all.