PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Devon and Leah Still to Publish Children’s Book About Fighting Cancer

Since four-year-old Leah Still was diagnosed with Stage 4 pediatric cancer called neuroblastoma in June, she and her father, former Penn State lineman Devon Still, have been an inspiration to countless others fighting the deadly disease.

After Leah and Devon’s story was broadcast across the country during NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup between Still’s Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, the second-year pro told USA Today he began receiving requests from strangers for advice on how he and his daughter cope with the difficult disease. That led to Leah and her dad to write an animated book called I Am Leah Strong that will be available online at the end of February.

“I talked to my daughter and asked her if she wanted to do a children’s book to help kids who are fighting pediatric cancer now and kids who will be diagnosed in the future to help them with the transition from normal life to being in the hospital all the time,” Still said. “That book was written by her. I just had an outline of questions I wanted to ask her. Whatever answers she had I wrote in book form.”

In an update posted to Instagram earlier this month, Still announced that Leah’s recent MIBG radiation treatments failed to eradicate the cancer as his family had hoped, so they will try a new type of chemotherapy treatment this Friday. Doctors hope this treatment will shrink the disease enough for her to undergo stem cell therapy.

Now that that Bengals season is over, Still told USA Today that he’s home with Leah in Philadelphia, simply enjoying each other’s company. His new home is just down the street from the hospital where Leah receives her treatment.

Guess who’s bizzack

A photo posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still75) on

“There are times when I want to hug and kiss my daughter and now I can do it because she’s right there with me,” Still said. “That was one of the biggest issues that I wasn’t there to support her while she was going through her treatment. It’s definitely been a weight off my shoulders now that the season is over.”

The children’s book is the Still family’s next philanthropic effort to beat up cancer. Sales of Still’s NFL jersey have now generated $1.4 million for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and pediatric cancer research, and plans are in the works for a “Still Strong” foundation.

About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.


More by CJ

Get Out There And Meet People: CJ Doon’s Senior Column

Whether it’s natural curiosity or fear of the spotlight, I’m not sure, but I’ve always been more comfortable asking questions rather than answering them. Interviewing interesting people — friends, family, or strangers — is an enjoyable activity that I hope to turn into a living. At Penn State, I was afforded the opportunity to follow that passion — and then some.

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Wins First Big Ten Championship

Jesse James Drafted No. 160 Overall By Pittsburgh Steelers


North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend