The Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards or better known as the ESPY's were last night. And in a tearjerking fashion a member of the AFC North accepted the Jimmy V Award for perserverance. Awarded to Leah Still, but accepted by Devon Still, the speech puts all of football, nay, all of sports in the passenger seat for something much larger; a five year old battling cancer.
Here is the video of Devon accepting the speech. Do yourself a favor and watch something surreal as a man trying to put in words the tribulations not only he himself has faced, but Leah and other children around the world fighting cancer.
While standing in front of hundreds of peers, and watched on television by thousands, Devon keeps his composure when explaining the struggles of trying to be the father he needs to be, and the absolute care for his loved ones.
To delve deeper to those that don't know the Bengals cut Devon still and immediately re-signed Still to the practice-squad when finding out that his daughter was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer. This allowed Devon to continually pay for his daughters treatment, and allow him to stay with her as a result of practice squad players not traveling with the team. They also sold Devon Still jerseys to help raise awareness of pediatric cancer research. This worked as $400,000 was raised in four days, and well over $1 million now.
Leah has finished off cancer for now, but is now struggling to fight VOD, which unfortunately can become a complication after stem cell transplants and chemotherapy; Leah has had both.
Everybody here at the Baltimore Beatdown is rooting for you Leah, and our prayers are with you.