Devon Still is 6-foot-5, weighs 310 pounds and is a defensive lineman for the Cincinnati Bengals. He's also the father of 5-year-old Leah, who was diagnosed with pediatric cancer roughly a year ago. The news understandably crushed Still, who couldn't focus on playing football afterwards and was eventually placed on the Bengals' practice squad during the 2014 season so he could go be with Leah in the hospital while maintaining health insurance.
In March, doctors reported the incredible news that Leah's cancer was in remission. Although she's still undergoing treatment in the hospital, Still says she is "the best I've seen her in a long time." He accepted the Jimmy V. Perseverance Award on her behalf at this year's ESPYs, following a heart-tugging video of the family's struggle with an emotional speech.
Here's what he said:
"When my daughter was first diagnosed with cancer, I felt like I was in a nightmare."
"At the age of 4, my daughter hadn't even begun to understand what life was all about."
"She just knew she wanted her dad and I wasn't there all the time."
"God answered my prayers, 'cause my daughter went into remission."
"We definitely couldn't have made it through last year if we didn't have a great supporting cast."
"To the Bengals, y'all set the example for corporate America."
"I honestly can say I love y'all for allowing me to be a father first and puttin' football secondary."
"For every child out there that's battling cancer ... honestly y'all are the real heroes."
"To my parents ... growin' up y'all showed me what it meant for a family to stick together."
"My beautiful daughter ... in the five years I've been with you, you've taught me more about life than I could ever do."
(H/T: Fox Sports)