Devon Still Gives an Emotional Speech on Daughter’s Cancer Battle at the 2015 ESPY’s


Last night’s ESPY’s may go down as one of the more emotional award shows the network has ever put together.  Not only was Caitlyn Jenner’s speech on transgender equality amazing, but the journey that Cincinnati Bengals play Devon Sill has been on with his daughter’s battle with cancer was one of the most memorable speeches of the evening.   Still revealed that he would pray to God that he didn’t lose his 5 year old girl to cancer.

The Bengals defensive tackle and his daughter Leah were honored with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award during yesterday’s ESPY Awards. Still told the crowd that he felt like he was living in a nightmare when Leah was diagnosed with cancer. “I remember the first week in the hospital, I would sneak out [of] the room and I would go down to the chapel and I would just cry,” Still said. “I would just ask God why did he give my daughter this fight, and I would beg him to give me the fight with death rather than my daughter.”

When Still had learned that his daughter’s cancer spread throughout her entire body, he realized that at that moment they only had two options. “We could’ve lost faith and just let this battle with cancer get the best of us, or I could give my daughter’s battle with cancer a purpose, and use my platform to try to raise as much awareness as possible. […] We decided not to give up,” he said.

But being in Cincinnati instead of with Leah started to take a toll on Still. He said that Leah wanted to be with her dad, and he couldn’t be there for her.

“That really hurt me and made me feel like I wasn’t a father,” he said, telling the audience that he hit rock bottom. He said that he contemplated escaping the pain through liquor, but he didn’t do it. Instead, I would grab my fiancée’s hand every night, and we would drop to our knees, and we would pray to God that I didn’t lose my daughter while I was in Cincinnati and that she was able to fight so that when I got home, we could make up for the time that was lost,” Still said. “And that time, God answered my prayers because my daughter went into remission.”

The Bengals organization temporarily put him on the practice squad so he could continue to get health insurance and pay for Leah’s treatment.  Still’s thanked the Bengals for their help.   It was an incredible moment for parents, athletes, and anyone watching.

You can watch the emotional speech below:


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