#LeahStrong

By Karly Maas

So have you been keeping up on all things Bengals??? Well even if you haven’t been the good little fan that you should be, let me tell you now that if the name Devon Still doesn’t ring a bell then you should just stop trying now. Hmmm, sounding familiar now doesn’t it? But just incase you can’t figure out who he is then let me refresh your memory, he is the player that was cut from the Cincinnati Bengals roster, but given a second chance by being put on the practice squad to help his adorable 4-year-old daughter Leah, who was diagnosed with stage 4 pediatric cancer in June.

If Still would have been cut from the Bengals he would have lost all benefits like Health Insurance. So being on the practice squad means for Still that he will receive medical insurance and a weekly $6,300 salary. He also won’t half to travel as much so he can stay at home with Leah more while she is fighting this awful disease.

Devon before a game with his signature Leah Strong eye-black

Devon before a game with his signature Leah Strong eye-black

To show their support for Still and his Family the Bengals are selling his jersey in the Pro-shop and giving all of the proceeds to Cincinnati Children’s & Pediatric Cancer Care research. But it’s not just the Bengals showing support, it’s everyone in the NFL. The New England Patriots cheerleaders wore his jersey when the Bengals played in New England on Sunday October 5th.

So I bet you’re wondering how is his daughter doing. Well she went under a very important surgery to have the tumor removed on Thursday September 25. Pre-surgery Still posted a video of him talking to Leah saying:

“I’m going to ask you again,” Still asked Leah. “I’m ready for today. Are you ready for today?”

As she continues to smile from the backseat, Leah slowly nods.

“You ready to get this cancer up out you?” Still asks.

She smiles and nods once more.

“Let’s do it. Fist bump.”

Leah and dad give

Leah and dad give the camera a pre-surgery  fist bump

The surgery took place at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and it took 6 long and agonizing hours of waiting till Leah and her family got the news they had been waiting for 4 months to hear… The tumor was gone! it was finally gone!!

Leah and her family is now preparing for her fourth round of chemotherapy to remove what’s left of the cancer in her bone marrow. Leah and her family remain strong during this tough time.

Still saying goodbye before leaving to get to game

Still saying goodbye before leaving to get to game

“You wouldn’t know she is battling cancer,” he said. “What she brings to this world is her strength.” Still said in a recent interview. Leah’s disease has been a true test to her family being so young and have so much to live for. Still stayed with his daughter after her surgery tried to fit his NFL-size frame onto one of those tiny uncomfortable cots hospitals set up for parents in their child’s room. This was a true test of his fatherly love.

Still in the small cot next to Leah's bed after surgery

Still in the small cot next to Leah’s bed after surgery

Please keep Leah and her family in your prayers as they get through yet again another round of chemotherapy. #LeahStrong #SackCancer

Photo courtesy of Stills instagram @man_of_still75

Work cited:

Harvey, Coley. “Leah Still’s Cancerous Tumor Removed.” ESPN NFL. ESPN, 25 Sept. 2014. Web. 29 Oct. 2014. <http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11588970/leah-daughter-devon-cincinnati-bengals-surgery-remove-cancerous-tumor&gt;.

Hobson, Geoff. “Bengals Moving Still Back to Roster; TE Otten Signed to Practice Squad.” CINCINNATI BENGALS. Bengals.com, 9 Sept. 2014. Web. 29 Oct. 2014. <http://www.bengals.com/news/article-1/Bengals-moving-Still-back-to-roster-TE-Otten-signed-to-practice-squad/440abb9d-fb07-481b-90e7-89919d1c291e>.

Greyshock, Rick. “Patriots Honor Bengals’ Still, Cancer-stricken Daughter during Game.” FOX SPORTS OHIO. FOX SPORTS, 5 Oct. 2014. Web. 29 Oct. 2014. <http://www.foxsports.com/ohio/story/new-england-patriots-cincinnati-bengals-devon-still-100514>.

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