Meet Leah Still! The little girl that captured the hearts of so many is still in the battle of her life. As her football father Devon Still does battle on the football field his four year daughter Leah Still continues to wage a brave fight against cancer. As the NFL tried to clean up their tarnished image due to the mishandling of domestic violence issues, this is a story that has fans and observers signing a different tune.
Leah Still is the 4 year old daughter of Devon Still, 25, a defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals. Still joined the team in 2012 as a second round draft pick. Stills born in violence savaged Camden, NJ but raised in Delaware was a high school football standout. He got a scholarship to Penn State, and was coached by Joe Paterno before scandal brought him down. He played for the Bengals for two seasons before being cut in August 2014. His daughter Leah was diagnosed with cancer only two months before he was cut in June. In a grand gesture the coach offered him a position on the practice squad so that he still had medical insurance of Leah’s treatments. In September Stills was moved to an active status and given play time on the field. He’s performed surprisingly well under the constant strain that he’s under. In the second game of the seasons, Stills had a standout performance with three tackles against the Atlanta Falcons. Leah was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in June of 2014, which is stage four cancer. In a show of
solidarity with his ailing daughter, Stills shaved his head too, and said that he wouldn’t grow his hair back until Leah’s hair was back. The young father, slept on the floor of Leah’s hospital room during her grueling treatments. This while he was recovering from painful back surgery.During a Bengals game on Sunday October 5th a music video featuring Leah Still was shown on the giant screen to raise awareness of pediatric cancer. The cheerleaders were wearing Still’s football jersey to also show their support. His jersey was being sold for charitable purposes and has raised over a million dollars. Leah’s mother is Channing Smythe who lives in Delaware with her daughter, Still joins them often when not doing Bengals related duties. There is a ‘Prayers for LEAH’ Facebook page that has been set up for Leah, that provides updates for Leah’s medical progress. Still was told in June that Leah only had a 50% chance of surviving the very rare cancer. The Bengals have been very accomadating with Still, allowing him to travel to Delaware to be with his daughter during her cancer treatments. He is grateful to the team for their support through all of this he says. It’s is with their help and loyalty that he has been able to continue to give his daughter the best possible medical care, which has already cost over a million dollars at this point. Still says that his daughter’s continued courage makes her his hero. He said she is “my shining light.”