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The presentation of the Jimmy V. Perseverance award at Wednesday night's ESPYS was supposed to be a celebration of Leah Still's victory over cancer. Leah, the 5-year-old daughter of Cincinnati Bengal defensive tackle Devon Still, became an inspiration to millions as she battled cancer over the last year. And while her cancer is in remission Leah has had some setbacks and doctors determined that her immune system wasn't strong enough for her to make the trip to Los Angeles.
Devon broke the news that Leah wouldn't be making the trip in a post on Instagram Tuesday morning. "We are short one princess but unfortunately the doctors didn't give her the OK because her immune system is still weak," Devon says in the post. "She told me to hold it down for her on stage so that's what I'm going to do!"
If you take more than a second to go through Devon's Instagram you will see the awe inspiring amount of love and devotion the man has for his daughter. In contrast to many of the other off the field stories making headlines the tale of little Leah's battle against cancer is even more heartwarming. It's safe to say that there would not be a single dry eye in the audience if Leah was able to accept the award on her own, but don't be surprised if there are still a few tears tonight.
Devon came to our attention a few weeks back when he posted pictures of a tattoo that he had recently gotten of Leah. It was the first step in a full back piece that will be dedicated to his daughter and her love of Disney. We look forward to seeing the full piece once it is completed.
Leah had just recently returned home after spending 50 days in the hospital due to complications from radiation therapy. So while it's a shame that Leah won't be able to be attending the ESPYS alongside her father Wednesday night things appear to be going in the right direction.