Beating cancer is definitely a superhero feat. For children it is undoubtedly double. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and former NFL football player Devon Still and his daughter Leah talk to CBS News about their experience with Leah’s neuroblastoma. During the interview, the couple talks about “survivors’ remorse” and how they help other children.
“There is no script to fight childhood cancer or neuroblastoma,” Still said in the interview. “There was nothing to walk you through the steps of what to expect when your child is diagnosed, what to expect as they go through treatment, and what to expect after treatment.”
Yet continued: “When you look at the fight against cancer in its entirety, it’s a bit demoralizing. So what we decided to do was just attack every day, to try to have fun and enjoy our lives and the moments we had together.”
Leah, who was diagnosed with the disease when she was 4 years old, was given a 50/50 chance of living. Leah went through countless rounds of chemotherapy, antibody therapy, and radiation while holding on to her father’s mantra: “Win the day.”
Now 11 years old, Leah has been in remission for six years and cancer-free for one year.
“I was very excited and it was so important because I was finally cancer free. And it was such a huge relief,” the adorable preteen told CBS News.
Still, in the interview, the couple said that along the way, the couple met many children who did not make it. He said they both struggled with “survivor’s remorse.”
“We both struggle with much regret from the survivors,” he said. “Many children we have met succumb to this disease. So that’s why it really affects us, because it has to be different. There must be another way to help families overcome this. We are tired of seeing children die before they have a chance to live.”
Photo credit: CBS News
To find a way to give back and help other families overcome, Still and his sixth grader created the Still Strong Foundation, which provides financial support to families battling childhood cancer. In addition, the dynamic duo has teamed up with ‘Braving NeuroBLASToma’, a book series to help families through the terrible disease.
In the interview, Leah spoke poignantly to those still suffering and battling the disease, offering a word of comfort and advice.
“You may think you’re alone, but you’re not, and I totally understand what you’re going through. And sometimes it’s hard to be open about it and I think it’s important to be open about it because me and my dad were very open to each other,” she said.
Well said Leah! Continue to lead the way with your father to end childhood cancer.
If you or someone you know needs information about neuroblastoma, click here.
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