When Devon Still walks to the microphone at Wednesday night's ESPYS to accept the Jimmy V. Perseverance Award, he will be alone.
Still had hoped his 5-year-old daughter, Leah, whose story of overcoming cancer has inspired many around the globe, would be healthy enough for the trip. But recent news from Leah's doctors indicated she wouldn't be. So she will be missing the event, according to Still.
The 26-year-old Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle announced news of his daughter's absence on Instagram on Tuesday morning with a photo that featured a few of his family members but not Leah.
Headed out LA with the fam @ashaadore @kerwaa @itonestill We are short one princess but unfortunately the doctors didn't give her the ok because her immune system is still weak. She told me to hold it down for her on that stage so that's what I'm going to do! #LeahStrong #ImTheOnlyMorningPerson #MySisterBetterLeaveThoseDamnHandSignsBackHereInPhilly
Although Leah went into remission in late March, she still has been going through various treatments to get her immune system back to normal. Stem-cell therapy and rounds of radiation have been part of her recent treatments. Late last month, she came home after a nearly 50-day stay was lengthened because of complications from some of the medicine she was taking.
The Jimmy V. Perseverance Award was named after legendary NC State men's basketball coach Jim Valvano, who delivered an emotional speech at the 1993 ESPYS during his own bout with cancer. Valvano that night received the Arthur Ashe Courage award. Past recipients of the Jimmy V. Award include NBA coach George Karl, former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, and last year's recipient, the late SportsCenter anchor, Stuart Scott.