Last night the world of sports got together for the 22nd annual ESPY Awards and, out of all the awards given out, Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still was the recipient of the Jimmy V Perseverance award, which he accepted on behalf of his 5-year old daughter, Leah Still who has had a long battle with cancer.
Both the video montage and Still’s testimony had attendees and viewers at home crying in his watching and hearing his bravery and undying strength for his daughter. During his acceptance speech, Still said:
We could’ve lost faith and let the battle with cancer get the best of us. Or I could give my daughter’s battle with cancer a purpose and use my platform to try and raise as much awareness as possible. My daughter being only five she couldn’t understand the sacrifice I was making for her as a parent. She just knew she wanted her dad and I wasn’t there all the time. That really hurt me and made me feel like I wasn’t a father. After a while it took a toll on me and I hit rock bottom. There were so many times I was sitting in Cincinnati that I would sit in my house and I would think about going to the nearest liquor store and buying the biggest bottle of vodka I could find and drinking it to take away my pain.
But when I thought about I couldn’t do it because everyday I preached to my daughter that she couldn’t give up, that she couldn’t let the battle get the best of her. Who was I to go try to find an escape through liquor when she had no escape for the pain she was going through? So I didn’t do it. Instead I would grab my fiancee’s hand every night and we would drop to our knees and we would pray to God I didn’t lose my daughter while I was in Cincinnati.
Closing his speech Still thanked the Bengals, the fans, and the thousands of supporters who’s support also kept him going.
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During the 22nd annual ESPY awards last night, Devon Still gives an emotional speech while excepting an awards. Check out the heart-wrenching speech here.