The Monday Memo
November 3, 2014 PITT DPT STUDENTS
Looking through the material this week, I felt this heart-warming story of support merited some attention. The story has been months in the making and continues to inspire.
Devon Still is a defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals. The 25-year-old Penn State alum can be seen playing in the NFL on Sundays and has become an integral member of the starting defense. Devon Still’s daughter, Leah, has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer.
After learning of this diagnosis in June, Still put his football career on hold to spend more time with his daughter and family as they battled for Leah’s health. His hiatus from sport and the team’s subsequent training camp led to Still being cut from the team’s 53-man roster. However, Coach Lewis offered a spot on the practice squad, which allowed Still access to the team’s medical benefits as well as more time that could be spent with his family. The Bengals also committed all sales of Still’s #75 jersey go toward pediatric cancer research. Since declaring this, $400,000 were raised in four days, and over $1 million to date. Still’s #75 is now the most sold jersey in Bengals’ history.
People from around the league have shown their support. Saints’ coach Sean Payton bought 100 jerseys and distributed them around local Boys and Girls Clubs and Children’s Hospitals. When the Bengals played at New England, the Patriots’ cheerleaders wore Still’s 75 Bengals jersey to show their support of the opposing lineman.
Devon Still has since advanced on the Bengal’s roster to the starting line-up and is once again an asset to the defense. Leah has since undergone chemotherapy and multiple surgeries with her father by her side the entire way. She is in remission and the prognosis is good.
SPOTLIGHT: Congratulations to Becky Russell, Maria Calla, and Cary Bonci for running/climbing 13.1 miles and Carlos Darby for running/climbing 26.2 miles this Saturday at the Marathon on the Mountain!
– Michael Turnwald
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