Father Fights to Make NFL Team, Daughter Fights Cancer

 Photo by Tony Tribble/AP Images

Photo by Tony Tribble/AP Images

By Joe McDaniel

Student Contributor

Devon Still was cut by the Cincinnati Bengals after failing to show he was focused on football.

The distraction that caused him to not make the team was his four year old daughter Leah fighting cancer. Although initially cut, he was kept on the practice squad. This caused a big pay cut for him, but he was still able to receive medical coverage to pay for his daughter’s cancer treatment. After joining the practice squad, Still said, “It was vital to have that for this fight.” The Bengals have been supportive of Still since he told team officials of his daughter’s condition on June 2 of this year.

“They know my situation, the work environment is easier for me because I’m around players that I know who I care about and care about me.” Still told ESPN. Beyond signing him to the practice squad, the Bengals announced that they are donating all proceeds from Still’s jersey sales to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. These donations will provide funds needed for pediatric cancer research.

Following the announcement, Still set a team record for jersey sales. When Bengal’s coach John Harbaugh heard the news, he personally bought one hundred jerseys. Saint’s coach Sean Payton was touched by the story and also bought one hundred jerseys. According to Fox News, over $400,000 have been raised in jersey sales alone. With Stills improving on the field, he was promoted back onto the 53-man roster last Wednesday. Not only was this a major pay increase, but also a showing of loyalty by his team for the former 2nd round draft pick.

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