Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still, who appeared on NFL Nation TV, learned on June 2 that his 4-year-old daughter, Leah, was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare pediatric cancer. When he learned of the diagnosis, Still was granted permission by the Bengals to leave organized team activities and minicamp in June to attend to his daughter.
The Bengals had no choice but to cut him in September. However, the team re-signed him to the practice squad so Still would continue to get a paycheck and health insurance.
Still talked about his daughter's condition on his Instagram account:
In an effort to help raise money and awareness about pediatric cancer, Still coordinated a fundraising drive in which donations will be made based on the number of sacks the Bengals record this season.
The team announced Sept. 8 that it was donating all proceeds from sales of Still's jersey to pediatric cancer research. Less than 24 hours later, more of the defensive tackle's black No. 75 jerseys had been sold in that time span than any jersey featuring any other Bengals player -- ever.
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton purchased 100 jerseys.
Big thanks for to the saints for ordering jerseys to help support pediatric cancer..only one word to describe everything, AMAZING!!
— Devon Still (@Dev_Still71) September 10, 2014
After just four days of sales, he and the Bengals have raised about $400,000. Still said more than 5,000 of his jerseys have been purchased in the week since the team launched the jersey-sale campaign.
The Bengals on Sept. 11 signed Still off the practice squad and added him to the 53-man roster, where they had a spot available. "I rolled right out of bed," Still told reporters. "I made it here about five minutes later before they could change their mind."
"NFL Countdown" talks to Still about his daughter's treatments:
Still on Sept. 15 posted this on Instagram:
"There's not too many things that can take that smile off her face #WomanOfSTILL"
Still answers questions from viewers:
Still gives Leah a pre-surgery pep talk on Sept. 25, posting this on Instagram:
"Pre-surgery pep talk...I might be nervous and scared beyond words but I'll never let her see it...let's get this done!"