After nearly a year-long battle with a rare form of pediatric cancer — Stage 4 neuroblastoma — Devon Still, defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, took to Instagram yesterday to finally share some good news on his daughter, 4-year-old Leah Still: her cancer is officially in remission.
In June of last year, while sitting in the waiting room awaiting news on his daughter, Still was told by the doctors that a cancerous growth was found in Leah’s abdomen and that she only had a 50-50 chance of survival. Since the diagnosis, Still was cut from the Bengals, and then re-signed a day later, when officials learned of his daughter’s cancer, in order for Still to be able to pay for Leah’s lofty medical bills with the health insurance provided by the NFL.
In January, Devon posted a heart-wrenching update on Instagram, where he emotionally described his feelings at hearing that his daughter was still battling the cancer.
“I wanted to hear so bad that my daughter’s cancer was gone and when I didn’t it hurt me bad. I couldn’t even bring myself to tell my family the results without breaking down.”
On Wednesday, just two months shy of a year from when his daughter’s cancer was first found, Devon was elated to share the good news with the public on his Instagram account.
“June 2, 2014 and March 25, 2015 are days I will remember for the rest of my life. As everyone probably knows, June 2nd was the day doctors walked into the waiting room to tell me my daughter had cancer. It was the most devastating day of my life. March 25th, however, is feeling like the best day of my life. Today we received news from Leah’s oncologist that her cancer, stage four neuroblastoma, is officially in REMISSION!”
Along with the good news, Still also posted a picture of his daughter, strong and beautiful, with her fist out, pointing at the camera — a picture reminiscent of the original video Devon posted of he and his daughter fist bumping before her surgery in September.
“When I look at my daughter all I can do is smile and hug her. It was not easy but every day, and every treatment Leah fought like hell and kicked cancers butt! I’m so proud and blessed to call her my daughter. She has made an impact on me and on the world, at the age of four, that I can only wish to make in a lifetime.”
He continued his update with a long list of thank yous that included family, friends, hospital staff, the Bengals, his fans, and everyone who contributed to raising awareness or funds — totalling $1.25 million from the sales of his no. 75 jersey, which sold out — for the cause of pediatric cancer. He also reminded everyone that while his daughter’s cancer was officially in remission, she’s not fully out of the woods yet, but that he was certain his “little warrior” would continue to kick butt.
“Leah is not done with treatments yet. She still needs more to make sure the cancer cells do not return and to build back up her immune system and other damage from the chemo but I know my little warrior will get through it!”
[Image Credit: Instagram]