Bengals sell record number of Devon Still jerseys for charity, Sean Payton buys 100
The feelgood NFL story of the week — and boy, doesn’t the league need it — continues to get better. After it was announced that the Cincinnati Bengals would be selling Devon Still replica jerseys for $100 with all proceeds going to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to assist with pediatric cancer care and research, a groundswell of support ensued.
With a flurry of activity, the Bengals sold 1,000 of Still’s No. 75 jersey on Wednesday, according to the team’s website, an all-time team record for one player.
Among those shelling out a decent chunk of change to contribute to the cause was New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who purchased 100 jerseys on Wednesday.
The approximately 900 jerseys purchased came from orders from all over the world, with inquires from such faraway places as Great Britain and Australia.
“That’s amazing. That’s big time,” Still said Wednesday upon hearing the news of the the record-setting day. “All the support that people have shown me and my family, it’s truly a blessing. I just wish my daughter could understand. But once she beats cancer and she gets a little older, she’ll be able to look back and see what it all meant.”
Still’s 4-year-old daughter Leah was diagnosed with Stage-4 pediatric cancer in June and has been battling the illness since then.
Still of course was unable to focus on football during such a trying time and ultimately was waived by the Bengals. In order for Still to continue receiving a paycheck and health insurance for Leah, the Bengals nobly signed him to their practice squad.
Still on his own came up with a website, “Help The Bengals Sack Pediatric Cancer,” where fans can donate funds on a per-sack basis. $14,000 has been raised thus far with the stated goal of $100,000.
It gets even better. Still was elevated to the team’s 53-man active roster on Wednesday, meaning he’ll probably be able to help contribute to the sack totals and raise even more funds.
Meanwhile, even though he’s on the active roster now, Still remains completely dedicated to caring for Leah and providing every comfort possible as she continues her battle.
Still spoke about a little thing the two do to help little Leah deal with some of the side effects related to her treatments.
“We have a dance that me and my daughter came up with which is called the pee dance, and that came about because she’s on so many different IVs throughout the night she continues to pee the bed,” he said on Wednesday. “The first time she peed the bed she got mad because she kept saying she’s a big girl, she’s not supposed to pee the bed and now she has to wear pull-ups. I walked over to her bed and I told her that when she peed in the bed she kind of wiggled. She started laughing.
“Every time she does it we continue to do that dance just to give her something to laugh about and not be so ashamed that she’s peeing in bed because she can’t control what’s going on,” Still added. “I’m definitely going to do that if I get a sack.”
Let’s hope he does. Goodness knows Still deserves it. More than that, Leah deserves seeing her daddy do a dance inspired by and dedicated to her, too.