Cincinnati Bengals player Devon Still gave an emotional speech about his daughter Leah’s battle with cancer at Wednesday’s ESPY Awards. Leah and her dad were honored at the ESPYs and given the Jimmy V Perseverance Award.
Still recalled the number of times he’s prayed that he wouldn’t lose his daughter to the disease.
“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.”
Still told the crowd about the choices he had to make when doctors informed him that cancer had spread throughout Leah’s body.
“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.
Instead of using liquor as an escape, he prayed.
“I would grab my fiancee’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.”
Still thanked the Bengals for sticking with him and being a huge support to his family. He also thanked his fiancee for not being selfish and promised her the wedding of her dreams, as long as she sticks to the budget.
Although Leah was not allowed to travel to the awards show, she recorded a video message.
“Thank you for supporting me while I beat up cancer,” Leah stated.