It’s football season. As many of us fans prepare tailgate festivities and our favorite teams finalize their strategies for the first set of games, one defensive tackle understands why he’s being placed on the practice squad instead of the starting lineup. For now, Devon Still won’t be traveling with Cincinnati Bengals. Instead, he’ll be focusing on his 4-year-old daughter’s battle with cancer.
“I can’t give football 100 percent right now,” Still said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Still found out in June that his daughter Leah has neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid cancer in childhood and the most common cancer in infancy, with an incidence of about six hundred and fifty cases per year in the U.S.
Still announced his daughter’s condition on Instagram and frequently posts pictures of them together as she goes through treatment. Leah recently began her fourth round of chemotherapy.
The 24-year-old, 2012 second-round draft pick from Penn State credits the Bengals for standing by him as his personal life quickly overshadowed his NFL career. A fundraiser linked to the Bengals’ performance allows people to donate money for every sack the team makes this season. Proceeds will benefit Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“She’s still in high spirits; she kind of motivates us,” Still said. “She’s kind of our strength in this. As long as she fights hard we have no reason to complain. We go to the hospital and there are hundreds other kids with the same thing, so we try as much as possible not to whine about it because we understand we’re not the only family going through it. We’re just trying to hold it together as long as possible.”
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