The Bengals defensive tackle and his daughter will be honored with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award for their courage as the little girl battles cancer
Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still and his 5-year-old daughter, Leah, will be honored with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at next month’s ESPYs for their strength throughout Leah’s year-long battle with cancer.
“The perseverance that Devon and Leah have shown throughout this unfortunate process is incredibly moving,” Connor Schell, senior vice president of ESPN Films and Original Content said in a statement Monday. “Each day that she fights, her father is by her side, and their love and strength has captivated all of us in the sports world and beyond.”
Leah was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma – a rare form of pediatric cancer – one year ago Tuesday. The NFL player has remained by his daughter’s side throughout the ordeal, posting dozens of inspiring photos, videos and messages to social media.
In March, Still took to Instagram to announce that Leah’s cancer was in remission. Leah began stem cell treatment to stimulate new bone marrow growth and reduce the possibility of a relapse last month.
Last week, Leah’s treatment faced a major setback – she was diagnosed with VOD – a serious disease that occurs as the result of a complication from stem cell transplants. Devon broke the news on Instagram, asking for prayers for his daughter.
Maura Mandt, executive producer of the ESPYs, said she hopes this award will bring the Stills renewed strength as they cope with this new diagnosis. “This award is a testament to the inspiration Devon and Leah are to all the families who are suffering from similar circumstances,” she said. “It is our hope that with this award we can send them more strength as they face this latest challenge.”