A Father’s Love,
Devon Stills, defensive tackle drafted in 2012 from the Cincinnati Bengals played two seasons with the team before getting cut late August 2015. Players come and go, fighting for a spot in the 53 man roster but this is a different type of fight for Devon Stills. Devon’s daughter Leah was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in June 2014, Stills stated, “She is fighting for her life”. As a father I can’t imagined what is more painful than seeing their child awaiting for their death. This didn’t stop Devon though, he had to save his child’s life. Playing in the NFL is not a walk in the park. These camps are gruesome, violent, and most of all nerve wrecking. Literally, every move you make, you are being surveillance by the team coaches and coordinators. One wrong move, you could be kicked off the team faster than a drop of a hat. This didn’t stop Devon though, Devon fought for a spot, not for fame, not for glory, but for his daughter’s life. Stills HAD to make the make due to the medical bills staggering up to the upper $300k for Leah’s treatment. Stills had to lift weights, execute plays, and learn new materials, all in the while of his daughter sitting in her death. Stills gave it all that he had but prior August 2014, Devon Stills got cut from the Cincinnati Bengals 53 man roster.
In this moment, I cannot imagine what was going through Devon’s mind. He has a daughter in the hospital with stage 4 cancer and now he is now unemployed. The following day, he gets a call from the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals, knowing his Devon’s situation re-signed Stills to the practice squad to help him pay for his daughter’s cancer treatment!
But wait! There’s more great news! The Bengals demonstrated their loyalty by giving 100 percent of Still’s jersey sales to Leah’s treatment and the Pediatric Cancer research in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital! $400,000 sales were made in four days and at the end of September it was reported that Stills jersey donation neared 1 million dollars!
On March 18th, 2015 Stills announced that Leah had undergone surgery to get the tumor out and that she was now cancer free!
On late August 2015, Stills was cut from the practice squad from the Bengals organization. Stills wrote on his Instagram “Have nothing but love for the Bengals organization and the city of Cincinnati. Both helped me through one of the darkest times of my life and I am forever grateful. It’s time to move forward and see what’s next”. (Read the whole article USA Today)
It is truly amazing what a parent will do for their children. Being a parent is not only looking after your children. As Stills demonstrated “Being a parent means loving your children more than you’ve ever loved yourself.
Click the link on top for information of how Leah is doing as well as Devon.