NFL defensive tackle Devon Still and his daughter Leah Still paid a visit to his old college stomping grounds, Pennsylvania State University in University Park, over the weekend. The football player and his 5-year-old daughter attended the university’s pep rally for their THON 46-hour Dance Marathon.
THON is a fundraising organization that raises money and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer. The charity is close to the athlete's heart given the fact that Leah was declared cancer-free earlier this year after 41 days of chemotherapy.
Thank you to Devon and Leah Still in their support in the fight against childhood cancer! We are Penn State and we are FTK! #CancerCannotPosted by Penn State Dance Marathon on Saturday, February 20, 2016
Devon’s daughter was diagnosed with Stage-4 neuroblastoma back in 2014. In January he announced, “With Leah finishing her last treatment last night, I can really say my daughter BEAT CANCER! Words can't describe how proud I am of this girl. No matter how hard it got or how painful the treatments were (and it was pretty bad a lot of the times) she never gave up!”
While visiting his alma mater, Devon told the crowd he participated in THON during his college years though he said, “I didn’t really understand the magnitude of what THON does for families.”
He continued, “For the past 2 years I really put football on hold because I wanted to be there for my daughter to help her through her fight and use my platform to raise as much awareness as possible.”
The NFL player wrapped his speech thanking students for participating in the grueling 40 plus hours dance marathon, noting that he and other families affected by cancer appreciate their efforts. Little Leah told the students, “Keep dancing!”
Devon admitted he went "through hell for this one moment" of having his daughter point out his old picture at the school's football building. Sharing a photo on Instagram the Penn State alum wrote, "I can't tell you the feeling I got watching my daughter walk through the football building and her pointing out my picture on the All-American wall. When your from where I'm from you only dream about things like this but hard work and determination made it a reality #ApartOfPennStatehistoryForever #DontLetNothingStopYouFromGettingWhereYouWantToBe #iWentThrougHellForThisOneMoment."
THON, which kicked off Friday and ended Sunday, ultimately ended up raising $9,770,332.32 in the fight against childhood cancer. Devon sent his congratulations to the participants on social media writing, “Congratulations to the 708 dancers that have stood for 46 hours for the kids! Thank you to everyone who supported THON this weekend by tuning in, participating, or donating. Together, we showed how to Believe Beyond Boundaries and what #CancerCannot do. ™@pennstatethon.”