Dad puts on a brave face for Leah, 4, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in June
Devon Still’s 4-year-old daughter came through her cancer surgery beautifully on Thursday – thanks, in part, to a pre-surgery pep talk by her dad.
Sounding more like a football coach psyching up his team before an important game than like a worried dad, the NFL player told the giggling Leah, “I’m going to ask you again,” in the video he posted on his Instagram account.
“I’m ready for today. You ready for today?” he asks her before they fist bump.
The caption he wrote for the video was just as endearing.
“I might be nervous and scared beyond words but I’ll never let her see it,” he wrote. “Let’s get this done!”
Still made headlines earlier this month after he was cut by the Cincinnati Bengals – then re-signed to their practice squad – so he wouldn’t lose his medical coverage for his daughter’s cancer treatments.
Leah was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare and sometimes fatal cancer, in June. Her surgery was at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Thursday.
Afterward, Still posted an update on Instagram.
“After a 5hr 50min surgery the surgeon was able to remove ALL of her tumor and all of her lymph nodes and her right adrenal gland where it all started from,” he wrote. “Best news I’ve received in a long time.”
However, he later added, “my daughter is NOT cancer free. Today was a big step towards that but still a long road ahead.”
“Kids always look up to their parents,” he wrote, “but in just a matter of a week all that reversed for me. I can honestly say I truly look up to my daughter now.”
“In the four years of life she has had, she has been through way more than I have in 24,” he also wrote. “Her courage, strength and high spirits through it all is nothing short of inspirational.”