Still hoped that Leah would be healthy enough to attend the ESPY Awards and accept the Jimmy V. Perseverance Award this Wednesday, but according to her doctor, that’s unfortunately not the case.
LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 15: Honoree Devon Still (R) accepts the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance from National Basteball Association player LeBron …
Leah’s battle with cancer has been well-documented by the media over the past year, but it’s never easy to write stories that capture the emotion behind what Devon and his five-year-old daughter have been through.
“We had two options”, Devon told the ESPYs audience. However, her father’s speech concluded with a message from Leah.
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“I couldn’t do it because every day I preached to my daughter that she couldn’t give up, that she couldn’t let this battle get the best of her”, he said. I just wanna thank you.
“This award is a testament to the inspiration Devon and Leah are to all the families who are suffering from similar circumstances”, Mandt said.
As a result of his needing to focus more on his family and less on the field, Still was cut from the Bengals in late August of 2014 and was instead offered a spot on the practice squad to ensure he would be able to care for Leah’s needs financially while also being able to spend time alongside her during her fight against cancer.
The humble Still addressed all children fighting cancer, calling them heroes. The award, and the Jimmy V. Foundation, has raised almost $115 million for cancer research.
In February, Leah appeared at New York Fashion Week to walk the runway at the Nike Levi’s Kids Fashion Show- just five days after she finished an eight-day stint at a hospital for cancer treatments. “But we kept our mindset positive, and we made it to the end”.