Life has a funny way of giving us annoyances that end up really putting things into perspective. So many of us get caught up in the day-to-day minutiae, that we become selfish and forget to see other real struggles that others are having.
Unfortunately for the Still family, they are experiencing a real struggle. When Devon Still decided to go public with the news of his daughter having cancer shortly before the 2014 season commenced, the nation stood behind them. The family was showered with well-wishes and gifts, some even from other NFL franchises. The outpouring of love and support for the Stills supplies us with faith in humanity and the over $1.3 million raised for pediatric research on behalf of Leah is the proof in the pudding.
Progress has been made in little Leah's road to recovery, but it has been slow. She successfully had the tumor removed and has undergone both chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but the last update (about a month ago) told us that the cancer was still active in her body.
There isn't a vote for this CJ award. It's going to Leah Still for her bravery and positive outlook during so many painful days and moments of weakness from the harsh side effects of the treatments. Her strength while battling for her life is a shining example of what we should all strive to be like in our darkest days and for that we are grateful that she has been a member of the Bengals family.
Here are some thoughts from our contributors:
Mickey Mentzer: "I have a very close connection to cancer. A good friend of mine was diagnosed with terminal cancer this year so this story served as a reminder of how much support is out there. The rally for Leah also became a rally for people facing cancer everywhere."
Rebecca Toback: "Who would have thought the biggest Bengals story of the year would center around a four-year-old girl? Count just about everyone out. Leah Still showed that football is bigger than what you see on the field. Her story, propelled by her dad, Devon Still, helped to unite the NFL and the world who continue to follow her journey. As Leah continues to fight cancer it's encouraging to see the NFL community join together in support."
Jason Marcum: "Leah's story is an inspiration to me that, no matter whatever obstacles I may face in life. If a little girl battling cancer can still live her life to the fullest, then I should be able to too."