The Cincinnati Bengals get a gold star this week for good behavior. The Bengals are three weeks into its fundraiser for pediatric cancer research and they have some big news. CBS Sports reported on Sunday, Sept. 28 that the jersey sales of Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still, whose daughter is suffering from pediatric cancer, is bordering on 10,000. This means that Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center will be receiving a check from the Bengals exceeding $1 million.
In June, Still’s 4-year-old daughter Leah was diagnosed with stage four pediatric cancer. After taking her to the hospital doctors found a neuroblastoma tumor in her abdomen. On Thursday, Leah underwent a six-hour surgery that removed her tumor, but she is not cancer-free, yet. Leah needs to do one more round of chemotherapy, radiation and stem-cell treatments. Doctors have given her a 50-50 chance of surviving.
Initially Still was not on the team roster. The Bengals put Still on the practice roster so that he would be able to have health insurance to help pay for the treatment his daughter needed. He has since been moved back onto the team roster.
Orders for the $100 jerseys to support this cause have come from all 50 states, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Earlier this month New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton alone bought 100 jerseys. The jerseys that Payton bought were then donated to the same Cincinnati hospital. Still and Payton were able to connect on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show where Still thanked the Saints coach for stepping up. Payton poignantly replied, “It just really caught my attention the way they were handling it. And I think it will give other people strength, obviously in a difficult time. I’m a huge fan from afar, [though] I’ve never met you.”
All proceeds from the first 10,000 jerseys sold will be donated to the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center- the team taking on the full cost of the jerseys. The team’s website shared that “on sales in excess of 10,000, the hospital continues to benefit from all sales minus the cost of the jerseys.”
Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn said, “We applaud Devon for his openness in sharing his daughter’s challenging story nationwide through media and social media. We also applaud the response of our fans and many others to the jersey sales. The welfare of Devon and Leah are foremost in our minds, but we are proud and excited to be able to be a part of something that can help advance the cause of fighting childhood cancer.”
Still jersey sales will continue through Oct. 20 on the team’s website. If you do not want to purchase a jersey but would like to donate to the hospital a link for that can also be found on their website. The check will be presented to the hospital on Nov. 6 during the home game against the Cleveland Browns.