Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/28/14
Devon Still turned 25 years old July 11. The former Big Ten defensive player of the year enters his third season in the NFL with the Bengals in the midst of his prime. An opportunity sits wide open to compete for snaps in the middle of one of the league's best defensive lines. However, two months ago, Still was convinced he was going to give it up. On June 2, he found out his vibrant 4-year-old daughter, Leah, has stage 4 cancer. The disease, neuroblastoma, leaves her with a slightly better than 50 percent chance of survival. His family, his career, his perspective, his world flipped upside down in an instant. Football suddenly faded as a priority. "When I found out, I told my family I was done. Done. I didn't feel comfortable leaving my daughter while she's going through this," said Still, who lives in Philadelphia in the offseason. "She's fighting for her life. Sports is not more important than me being there while my daughter is fighting for her life." till sat in front of his locker Sunday morning and spoke in a controlled, honest, but emotional tone. Less than two months removed from the news, he couldn't hide the constant sadness any more than the tears welling up in his eyes discussing the joy of placing a smile on his daughter's face. Admittedly, his mind still spins into dark places. "My head is messed up, to be honest with you," he said. "It's messed up. Sometimes I feel bi-polar. Sometimes I wake up and I'm optimistic. Sometimes I wake up and it's just heavy on me." Still pushed through and got cleared to hit the field for the first time since his Jan. 9 back surgery on Saturday.
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