Devon Still graciously accepted the 2015 Jimmy V. Perseverance Award at the ESPYs tonight on behalf of his now five-year-old daughter Leah.
Leah has spent the last 14 months battling Stage 4 Neuroblastoma cancer. At the time of her diagnosis she was given a 50 percent chance to live. Now, she's in remission and currently undergoing daily radiation treatment to ensure the cancer stays away.
Here's the message Leah shared with the ESPY audience from back at home.
Since she is about 60 days removed from her Stem Cell Treatment, her immune system is still too weak to be traveling or be out in the public. But, Devon has assured fans and followers via Twitter and tonight on the Red Carpet at the ESPYs that Leah is doing great and is nearly back to her old self.
Bengals players and coaches all shared the #LeahStrong hashtag following Devon's impressive speech where he talked about the highs and lows of the last year, including Leah's diagnosis, the cancer spreading throughout her body, and ultimately her remission.
"Every day I preached to my daughter that she couldn't give up, that she couldn't let this battle get the best of her," Still said during his speech... "If I didn't see her fighting, trying to remain her energetic self who's dancing and smiling all the time, that motivates me to get over all the issues that I'm dealing with while watching my daughter fight for her life."
Devon also made a point to thank the Bengals and Brown family during his speech. "Ya'll set the example for corporate America," he said.
Devon ended his speech with a message to Leah. "From the moment you was born you molded me into the man I am today. And you know I always used to dream about how I was going to be able to show you so much about life. But in the five years I've been with you you've taught me more about life than I could ever do. I love you and I'm just proud of the way you've been handling yourself this past year."
It was hard to hold back the tears as Devon shared his and Leah's story.
Below are some of the encouraging words shared by other Bengals players and coaches in support of Devon and Leah:
Well done @Dev_Still71! Well done indeed.— Eric Winston (@ericwinston) July 16, 2015
I got shivers watching that. #LeahStrong— George Iloka (@George_iloka) July 16, 2015
S/O to bro D.Still .. and Princess Leah !! #BEATCANCER— Darqueze Dennard (@DDennard21) July 16, 2015
Major Shoutout to Still and princess Leah. Proud to call him a teammate and brother!!!— Will Clarke (@W_Clarke98) July 16, 2015