NEW YORK – Now that she has beaten cancer, Leah Still, the 5-year-old daughter of former Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still, wants everybody to know how she did it.
"I think it's because my daddy made me [strong]," Leah Still told “Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview Friday morning.
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Leah and Devon have a lot to celebrate after her 18-month fight with the disease.
"I'm just thankful," Devon Still told Roberts. "It was definitely a long road traveled. We definitely feel blessed and thankful that we have the doctors and the people around us to help us through this battle."
After 41 days of chemotherapy, 40 days of antibody therapy, 19 days of radiation therapy and a seven-hour surgery, the NFL defensive tackle's daughter wrapped up her final treatment this week.
"I can really say my daughter BEAT CANCER!," Devon Still wrote Tuesday. "Words can't describe how proud I am of this girl."
Leah was given a 50-50 chance when she was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in June 2014. The Bengals kept her dad on the roster so he'd have health insurance to cover Leah's treatments. He's since signed a contract with the Houston Texans for next season after he was cut by Cincinnati last September.
“Basically (the Bengals) told me that they was releasing me they wanted to put more focus on football this year, which I understood because it was pretty much a media circus going on,” Still told ESPN this week. “It kind of took away from the team and football. They did enough helping me deal with it the first year.”
Now that Leah is healthy, Devon said both of them are looking forward to getting back to football with the Texans.
"She’s definitely excited," he said. "She’s been watching me since my junior year in college. She’s been going to my games. She understands I put my career on hold for her."
Still said he also worked out for the Colts, Titans, Jets and Broncos. He signed a futures contract with the Texans last week, days before Leah began her final treatment at the hospital.
Still now joins a Texans defensive front that includes NFL sack leader J.J. Watt (17.5) and Whitney Mercilus (12).
"I think they have a dominant defensive line," Still said. "... Just being able to learn from them, have the type of production they had, especially this past year with those two guys, I think it’s going to be beneficial to get my career back on track and show everybody what I’m capable of doing."
Scans this summer found no trace of cancer, but Leah had been undergoing treatment to help rebuild and immune system that was destroyed by chemotherapy.
Leah's battle with cancer won her the 2015 Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPYs and inspired Cleveland Cavaliers' star LeBron James to name her as one of his two favorite women (along with his daughter, Zhuri). She was also one of WCPO.com's Super Heroes of 2015.