Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still was moved to tears after the New England Patriots paid tribute to his 4-year-old daughter, who is battling a rare form of cancer, during the teams’ match-up on Sunday Night Football.
New England Patriots cheerleaders donned Still’s jersey and sported pink pom-poms to honor Leah Still and the many others battling cancer. Leah was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma in June and is currently going through the stages of chemotherapy with her father right by her side.
The New England Patriots’ cheerleaders reduced a player of the opposite team to tears when they paid tribute to his young daughter who is battling cancer. Devon Still’s daughter Leah, four, was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma in June, and the Patriots’ cheerleaders showed their support when they played the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Instead of their normal red, white and blue outfits, the Patriots’ cheerleaders donned Still’s Bengals jersey, a tribute which reduced the 25-year-old defensive tackle to tears on the field.
Still has not been able to devote himself fully to football since Leah was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma in June this year.
Initially missing out on Cincinnati’s 53-man roster so he could be by his daughter’s side, Still was then offered a spot on the practice squad, ensuring Leah would be covered under the team’s health insurance policy.
The Patriots also donated $25,000 to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Since announcing Leah’s diagnosis on Instagram, Still has been spreading awareness about pediatric cancer. His team also plans to donate sales from his jersey to pediatric cancer research, which recently reached one million dollars.
Still spoke to TODAY about how strong Leah has been throughout her treatments.
“She’s a fighter,” Still said. “As a parent, you always expect your child to look up to you. But honestly, since June 2, I’ve really been looking up to my daughter.”
Then there’s the adorable pep talk Still gave Leah that went viral:
Still commented on the Patriots’ kind gesture Monday afternoon:
“This really caught me off guard yesterday,” the player wrote on Instagram. “Big thanks to the Patriots organization and the cheerleaders for showing amazing support. We may not have won the game last night but putting a smile on my daughters face as she watched this definitely helps her to win her battle! #MoreThanFootball #PrayForLeah
Leah’s tumor was removed last week, but the cancer has since spread to her bone marrow. Her father hopes after a few more chemo treatments he can say the words “cancer free.”
Stay strong, Leah!