Leah and Devon Still will be in Philadelphia this weekend to be part of the Temple Owls spring football game.
Before the first snap of Temple's Cherry and White game Saturday, Leah and Devon will perform the ceremonial pregame coin toss. Devon grew up close to Philadelphia in nearby Camden, New Jersey before playing college football at Penn State. He and Leah have spent much of the past year at Philadelphia hospital for chemotherapy for Leah's pediatric cancer.
That isn't the only connection that Devon has to Temple, as Marc Narducci of Philly.com writes:
The connection to Temple, according to head coach Matt Rhule, is that Devon Still is close to two of the Owls assistants, defensive line coach Elijah Robinson and strength and conditioning coach Jeremy Scott. Both were coaches at Penn State when Still was there.
Rhule said that when Leah Still has undergone treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, her father has frequently gone to the practice facility to work out. Devon Still was told the news of his daughter's cancer on June 2, 2014.
"He has almost been kind of part of our building," Rhule said. "He is not here every day, but he is here enough and the players have a tremendous amount of respect for what he has done on the field both in college and the pros. But more importantly he is everything you want our players to see about being a father, being dedicated and loving people when they need it."
The support that the Stills have gotten both locally and nationally since Leah's diagnosis last summer has been one of the best stories in sports during the past year. To see a college where Devon didn't even play at welcome him and Leah like one of their own is a wonderful act of kindness.