Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still took to social media Friday night to ask for prayers for his daughter Leah.
According to a report from the Associated Press, Leah’s latest round of treatment began May 5th and was expected to take 4 to 6 weeks. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy required in the early stages of the treatment had an affect on the 5-year-old’s liver.
Alongside a photo of himself laying with Leah in what appears to be her hospital bed, Still posted the following:
I need some prayers sent up for Leah tonight! We hit a pretty serious complication from the stem cell transplant called VOD. They caught it early so hopefully it gives the doctors a better chance of stopping it from getting aggressive. As you can imagine our minds are all over the place but we’re going to try and remain positive! #LeahStrong #WaitingForTheDayEverythingReturnsToNormal
Leah was originally diagnosed with Stage 4 pediatric cancer nearly a year ago. She has since had a tumor removed from her abdomen and has received chemotherapy for cancer cells in her bone marrow. Despite admitting during the preseason that he couldn’t give his full focus to football under the circumstances, the Bengals stepped up and signed Still to their practice squad allowing him to keep his NFL health insurance which will pick up the entire bill for his daughter’s treatment.
The young woman’s battle first gained significant attention among the black and gold faithful last September after the Bengals decided to sell Still’s game jersey and donate all proceeds to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and other pediatric research efforts. Saints head coach Sean Payton heard about the effort on his drive home and proceeded to purchase 100 jerseys at a cost of more than $10,000 out of his own pocket. Payton donated all of the jerseys, sizes small and medium to the hospital.
Still got the opportunity to thank Payton a week later in a short but heart-warming phone conversation on the ESPN radio show “Mike & Mike”. The pair finally met face to face in mid-November following the game between the Bengals and Saints in New Orleans.
On March 25th of this year, Still announced that they had received word that Leah’s cancer was officially in remission. Hopefully she will be able to celebrate coming through this latest setback soon.