The Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon is all about fighting pediatric cancer, but in the Penn State community, a particular child’s battle with cancer has resonated thanks to her dad representing Penn State on perhaps its biggest stage.
Leah Still, 5-year-old daughter of former Penn State football player and current Houston Texan Devon Still, joined her dad to host the THON Pep Rally, which featured athletes from several Penn State sports.
Leah was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age 4, a disease that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas in the body. The disease primarily affects children under the age of 5, according to Mayo Clinic via ABC News.
Chemotherapy and surgery followed for Still, and she was declared to be in remission in March 2015 with no signs of cancer.
On Monday, Jan. 12, Devon Still posted on Twitter that his daughter underwent 41 days of chemotherapy, 40 days of antibody therapy, 19 days of radiation, seven hours of surgery, and “one win.”
In an exclusive interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, Devon Still shared his gratitude that his daughter made it through her long road.
“It was definitely a long road traveled. We definitely feel blessed and thankful that we have the doctors and people around us to help us through this battle.”
Leah told Roberts that her father was her inspiration.
“My daddy made me strong,” she told Roberts.
Devon added his family’s support to the fight against pediatric cancer.
“Just knowing I had the platform I knew I could reach a big audience and inform everybody what it’s like for a family to deal with pediatric cancer,” Still said.
More recently, Leah presented the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year Award to Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry at the NFL Honors the day before the Super Bowl. Berry is also a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in late 2014. Berry missed the rest of that season. He returned in 2015 and earned Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors, per ESPN.