Former Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still will be without his daughter, Leah, when he accepts the Jimmy V. Perseverance Award on her behalf at the ESPYS on Wednesday night.
Leah, a 5-year-old who has been fighting to overcome cancer and inspiring many along the way, is undergoing various treatments to regulate her immune system. She went into remission in March, but recently suffered some complications due to some of her medication and underwent a 50-day stay in the hospital. Doctors said she would not be able to make the trip to Los Angeles for the awards show.
“She told me to hold it down for us on that stage so that's what I'm going to do,” Still wrote on his Instagram page.
Headed out LA with the fam @ashaadore @kerwaa @itonestill We are short one princess but unfortunately the doctors didn't give her the ok because her immune system is still weak. She told me to hold it down for us on that stage so that's what I'm going to do! #LeahStrong #ImTheOnlyMorningPerson #MySisterBetterLeaveThoseDamnHandSignsBackHereInPhilly
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Leah is doing GREAT. It’s normal protocol for kids that just had stem cell transplant to not be able to leave the house for 90 days— Devon Still (@Dev_Still71) July 14, 2015
The Jimmy V. Award was named after NC State men’s basketball head coach Jim Valvano, who delivered a touching speech in 1993 after receiving the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Last year’s recipient of the Jimmy V. award was the late Stuart Scott.