Devon Still is still bringing light to his daughter’s plight, and others are now starting to pay it forward.
CBS Sports is reporting that sales of Still’s football jersey has exceeded 12,000, with proceeds going to the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. The funds will be used to help Still’s daughter, Leah, who is battling pediatric cancer.
The Bengals have a two-fold attack: They kept Still on the Practice Squad so Still could continue making money, and all proceeds from the sales of Still’s number 75 jersey, up to $1 million, for Leah’s treatments.
“I couldn’t really focus on football because there was a lot of stuff going on,” Still said. “There was a lot of things on my mind. But seeing the outpouring from everybody and seeing the support from everybody has allowed us me to focus on football a lot more.”
Cincinnati Bengals Director of sales and public affairs Jeff Berding added, “I think all of us are moved by their courage and I think people can relate to being a parent and having your four-year-old daughter or son, if that were the case, a child struck with cancer. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare.”
There has been such a demand for the jerseys that the orders can’t be filled quickly enough.
“Nike’s making the jerseys as fast as they can manufacture them,” Berding said.
Meanwhile, the Bengals are planning to present the $1 million-plus check to Cincinnati Children’s during halftime of the November 6 Browns-Bengals Thursday-night game.
Local 12 Cincinnati is reporting supporters are coming from all over. ESPN Sportscaster Scott Van Pelt purchased 50 Still jerseys to be delivered to South Avondale Elementary School. He bought 51 jerseys; 50 for students who performed exceptionally well in school, and one for a mannequin that Van Pelt has on his show.
“You want to help Leah and if you can give some kid who wouldn’t otherwise get a Bengals’ jersey that’s going to make them happy then, I don’t know. I’m really blessed to do what I do and thankfully I can do something nice,” Van Pelt said. He was inspired to buy the jerseys by New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton. He bought 100 jerseys.
Fifth grader Cree Rayford received a jersey. She had a message for Van Pelt and Leah and Devon Still. “I want to thank him really much. It feels so good,” Cree said. She added, “It just feels so good to support somebody else and their daughter for having diseases and stuff. And I hope she feels OK.”
[Image courtesy of Devon Still/Design & Trend]