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June 03, 2015

Devon, Leah Still will receive ESPY award for perseverance

Awards NFL
Devon and Leah Still Devon Still/Twitter

Devon and Leah Still.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still, along with his daughter Leah, who is battling complications from cancer treatment, will both receive the the Jimmy V. Perseverance Award at this year's ESPYS.

The award is being given to the Camden, New Jersey native and Penn State alumni as well as his daughter because of their charitable work raising money and awareness for pediatric cancer, ESPN announced on Monday. 

Leah, 5, was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric cancer in June 2014. She fought the disease for months, receiving promising news in March that her cancer was in remission.

However, Devon said that she had suffered a setback through his Instagram account on May 29. Leah, who has been receiving her treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was diagnosed with a serious liver complication. Devon provided an update on Leah's status on Monday through Instagram, saying that she was making progress. 

Still noted the one year anniversary of Leah's diagnosis Tuesday, saying that "today is not a good day" and that he was looking forward to the anniversary of March 25, which is when they received news that her cancer was in remission. 

The V Foundation, an organization that donates money to cancer research and is behind the award the Stills are receiving, congratulated the father and daughter on Twitter.

The award and foundation are named after basketball coach Jim Valvano, who led North Carolina State University to an NCAA championship in 1983. He died of cancer in 1993, shortly after delivering a famous speech at that year's ESPYS. During that speech, he announced the creation of The V Foundation while receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award.