Nearly two years after Houston Texans defensive end Devon Still announced that his daughter Leah was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, the child is cancer-free and Still is a married man. He wed longtime fiancée Asha Joyce at the New York Public Library in Manhattan on Friday. Video showing little Leah dancing with her father and stepmother to “Uptown Funk” at the wedding has since gone viral. Check it out below.
“We put off the wedding because my daughter was battling cancer. Now that (the wedding) is officially here, it’s the beginning of our future and the end to a hard time,” Devon told People Magazine. “When I saw (Leah) even before the wedding, I got emotional. We’d been waiting for this moment for a long time.”
Still also shared Instagram photos of his daughter turning up at the wedding. In one video, she even gave a toast. “Thank you for everybody supporting me and I love my new family,” she said. “Now let’s party!”
At the time of Leah’s diagnosis, Devon played for the Bengals. New York Daily News notes that Cincinnati cut him in 2014 but put him on their practice squad so that he would have access to the NFL’s health insurance to cover his daughter’s medical treatment. He announced she was cancer-free in March of 2015.
Six-year-old Leah reportedly stole the show at the wedding. The flower girl who beat cancer wore a whimsical, pink flower girl gown, and she reportedly couldn’t hold back tears during the ceremony.
“I love my new family,” she said wiping away tears at the reception after. “Thank you for all your support,” she added.
“To see my daughter walking here at my wedding, healthy, knowing she is cancer free is a tear-jerker for me,” said Devon. “We are using this night to celebrate the strength that we have of making it together as a family. We’re a hell of a team to make it through and to be here, finally happy and at peace.”
Twenty-six-year-old Asha, who had three outfit changes throughout the night, donned a “white mermaid gown with lace appliqué and Swarovski crystals by Pnina Tornai,” and Devon sported a custom velvet suit from Martin Greenfield Clothier. The newlyweds put their marriage plans on hold in 2014 after learning Leah was diagnosed with a life-threatening and rare cancer that is typically found in the adrenal glands. After she was given the all-clear last year, the couple decided to resume the wedding planning.
The bridesmaids wore floor-length rouge-colored gowns while Devon’s groomsmen consisted of NFL players Brandon Thompson, Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle, and NFL free agent Johnnie Troutman. Around 180 guests attended the extravagant ceremony and dined on hamburger sliders, shiitake mushrooms, and salted caramel macaroons.
Prior to exchanging vows, Devon and Joyce, who have been together for three years, was named this year’s dream wedding couple by The Knot. During the interview, Asha said that she unknowingly picked out her own engagement ring when Devon asked her to help him pick out a few rings for his friend’s fiancée.
“Before Devon proposed, we spoke briefly about the future, but I wasn’t expecting our engagement to be so soon,” she said. “I used to work in a jewelry store and I would always sit there and think of what my engagement ring would be like one day. I definitely wanted something unique that stood out.”
Asha also shared Leah’s excitement about being her little flower girl. “She wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s so excited to pick out her flower girl dress. She also thinks she’s a wedding planner. Leah wants everything to be pink! So we’ll have some pink things, that’s for certain.”
Cancer-free Leah Still inspired millions with her diagnosis and road to recovery, and Devon says he can’t wait to start his “new life and new path” with her and Asha Joyce. He vows to use their cancer journey to inspire families with children who have pediatric cancer, and help make their lives a bit “easier.”
[Photo by Mark Lennihan/AP Images]