Gallery Follows the Text
One of the few uplifting stories throughout last year's NFL season involved Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still and his 5-year-old daughter Leah's fight against cancer. In a season where the headlines were dominated by players being charged with violent crimes away from the field and others cheating on the field, the obvious love and devotion Still openly showed his daughter captured the hearts of America. This week, a year after his daughter was diagnosed, the elder Still has started on a back piece dedicated to Leah.
Tattoo artist Dan Price started work on the elaborate back tattoo that Still has planned with a portrait of Leah on his right shoulder. According to TMZ, Still is planning on filling in the rest of his back with Disney related images including Ariel from The Little Mermaid, the castle in the Magic Kingdom and Aladdin's lamp. Price estimates that it will take about 40 more hours of work to fully work in all of the images that Still wants to include in the tribute for his daughter.
Recently Leah's health has faced a couple of setbacks. While her stage four neuroblastoma went into remission in March, Leah has been diagnosed with veno-occlusive disease (VOD). VOD obstructs some of the veins within the liver and is a complication often seen after high-dose chemotherapy has been administered prior to a bone marrow transplant. As he has for the last year, Still is documenting the ordeal through his Instagram.
"Can't really talk or smile but she wanted to give y'all a thumbs up to say she is doing better and thanks for the prayers," Still said on Instagram. "First time she's really been awake in 4 days so we are making a little progress."
It was announced on Monday that Devon and Leah will be receiving the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at ESPN's annual ESPY Awards in June. Hopefully in the not too distant future we will be able to see the finished back piece and, far more importantly, Leah will fully recover to enjoy more trips to her beloved Disney World.