Devon Still celebrated his daughter Leah’s five-year mark of being cancer-free on Wednesday (March 25). The 9 year old was first diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma back in 2014 and was given a 50-50 chance to live.
“Once your child reaches the five-year mark in their cancer battle, the chances of the cancer coming back are basically slim to none,’’ Devon told TODAY. “This is huge for us because when you have a child that’s battling cancer you’re basically holding your breath until you reach this point.”
While Leah celebrates the milestone, Devon and his wife Asha continue to offer support to other families with children suffering from cancer through their Still Strong Foundation. At this time, the former NFL player also remembers the risk that Coronavirus poses to child cancer patients.
“A lot of people don’t know COVID-19 is impacting kids battling cancer,” he told the outlet. “If they catch this virus, they can die. There’s a lot of families struggling right now with not being able to go to work due to the virus and dealing with other issues, and we just want to be able to help them out.”
In the wake of the pandemic, the Still Strong Foundation recently launched its “5 for 5 Campaign,” which is designed to raise money for families who are struggling financially. To celebrate Leah’s five years of cancer remission, people can donate $5 to the campaign and tag five friends to join, in order to help other families pay for things like medical bills during this time of economic uncertainty.
“Although Leah’s cancer fight is over with, we gotta fight until every parent gets to feel this feeling of reaching five years,” Devon continued.
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That smile you make when you know you did it! Against all odds you beat cancer! There’s so much I could say but I’m going to try to keep it short. When Leah was first diagnosed, I was so scared. I was scared because I thought I was going to lose my daughter. I was scared because I thought I was going to miss out on all the important moments every parent should share with their kids as they grow up. I was scared because our world was shaken up and I felt so lost and hopeless. I was scared because I felt like I was losing myself while fighting to not lose Leah. The point is, even when you’re scared, you just have to trust God and push forward! Leah you are the strongest person I know. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving this battle everything you had. I know it wasn’t easy...I know it wasn’t fair...but you handled this battle like a #playmaker and inspired millions (especially me) while doing it. This is just the beginning I love you with every bone in my body ❤️ #CANCERFREE
Within the past six years since her diagnosis, Leah has helped raise over a million dollars for cancer research and been recognized with the ESPY Award for her bravery. In a sweet post on Instagram, Devon thanked his daughter for inspiring others — and himself.
“Leah you are the strongest person I know. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving this battle everything you had,” he wrote. “I know it wasn’t easy...I know it wasn’t fair...but you handled this battle like a #playmaker and inspired millions (especially me) while doing it.”
Keeping in mind social distancing, Leah celebrated her five years of being cancer-free with cake, ice cream and an all-night movie marathon. Also speaking with TODAY, she reminded other cancer patients that they’re not alone and to “be strong.”