In 2014, Devon Still and his daughter Leah made headlines. Devon was playing for the Cincinnati Bengals when his daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. She was given a 50 percent chance of survival.
Five years later the father-daughter duo are making headlines again. This time it’s to celebrate Leah’s five-year anniversary of being cancer-free!
“Once your child reaches the five-year mark in their cancer battle, the chances of the cancer coming back are basically slim to none,” the former defensive lineman told TODAY.
The now nine-year-old’s official five-year anniversary was March 25.
Since the coronavirus pandemic hindered her plans for a big celebration, Leah celebrated at home by watching movies and a steak dinner.
After all the ups and downs throughout Leah’s journey, Devon said making it to the five year mark has been a blessing.
“When Leah was first diagnosed, I was so scared,” he wrote on Instagram. “I was scared because I thought I was going to lose my daughter. I was scared because I thought I was going to miss out on all the important moments every parent should share with their kids as they grow up.”
“I was scared because our world was shaken up and I felt so lost and hopeless.”
Even though Leah’s battle may be over, Devon and Leah are still continuing to fight for others who face similar battles.
“Although Leah’s cancer fight is over with, we gotta fight until every parent gets to feel this feeling of reaching five years,” Devon said.
The family has raised over $1 million for cancer research through fundraisers and sales of his jersey.
For those who continue to battle cancer, Leah offered some advice.
“I would say stay strong and it doesn’t matter what’s on the outside, it matters what’s on the inside,” Leah told TODAY in 2019. “And you’re not fighting this alone, ever.”
Congratulations, Leah! Five years is a huge deal. You’ve beat the odds, now let’s help others do the same.
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