During the Sunday night football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots in Boston, Devon Still was brought to tears as the Patriots honored Leah’s battle with cancer.
Devon Still moved by New England Patriots’ tribute to daughter Leah
Cincinnati Bengal Devon Still’s daughter, Leah, was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma in June. After receiving a 50-50 chance of survival, the Bengals organization kept the player on roster to keep her insured for the expensive treatments. The Bengals also sold his replica jersey with 100% of the money going towards the hospital bills.
Still hasn’t left her side throughout the battle. The big, rough-and-tumble player sleeps by her bed when possible, never leaving his little girl’s side. And there’s something unbelievably profound in the devotion of a parent. The situation can’t be easy—has to curl a queasy stomach—but still he stands tall for his daughter.
And the NFL is noticing.
— SB Nation (@SBNation) October 6, 2014
Sunday night, the New England Patriots’ cheerleaders wore Still’s replica jersey in honor of Leah, to provide a wider net of support for a child going through a really hard time. Already a kind gesture, the Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft wasn’t done. He cut a check of $25,000 to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in support.
You can see the emotional response as a tear slips down Devon’s cheek, covering the word “strong.” Strong is part of a secret message to Leah, words of encouragement and love to let her know he’s still there, even when on-field.
The Patriots’ gesture was amazing for the children of Cincinnati and inspired an idea for fans. The $94.95-$99.95 jerseys /4/not be in the budget for most NFL fans, but a small donation to the hospital can still matter. Or any children’s hospital.
— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) October 6, 2014
The NFL’s been pretty rotten lately with the news on treatment of players and player families, but the Bengals are showing that acts of kindness have ripple effects. And the Patriots are helping to lead the way.
At nearly $1 million in donations, the NFL community is honoring Leah Still’s battle with a deadly disease and all the children fighting to live. It takes a lot of strength to survive and beat the odds, but Leah Still is on her way.
Featuring both Sara Bareilles singing “Brave” and Cyndi Lauper singing “True Colors,” the video is titled “Truly Brave.” Still rented out a movie theater for Leah, friends, and family the night before surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. She lived out a dream.
“She’s a fighter.” At the time, he expressed awe and pride at her strength. “You always expect your child to look up to you but, honestly, since June 2 I’ve really been looking up to my daughter.”
Talking to the Today Show, he said Leah “loved every minute” of being a part of the project. And now she’s a self-proclaimed movie star with a future in movies. “Everybody’s keeping my daughter’s spirits up, and I really appreciate all the attention that she’s getting.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 6, 2014
Hoda adds how the bright, vibrant child is “full of light and love.” Still undergoing treatment, this four-year-old little girl is reminding the world where hope and strength come from.
If you want to donate to the children’s hospital, the donation hub is here. Types of money gifts are listed. Once you click the type of gift, you’re able to pick how the money will be spent.
Click the video below to watch “Truly Brave.”
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