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Happy birthday, Leah Still!
The daughter of NFL lineman Devon Still woke up on Wednesday, her fifth birthday, at the hospital for what her family hopes will be her last cancer treatment.
But her dad began the celebration early — by surprising her with a trip last week to Disney World to help make up for where she would spend her actual birthday.
Doctors determined last month that Leah’s neuroblastoma, a rare form of pediatric cancer, went into remission, but the young girl must still must complete an intense, inpatient four- to six-week stem cell treatment. The procedure began Tuesday, a day before her birthday.
The Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman said he was crushed by the timing of the news.
“When I told her she would be in hospital for her bday she looked to the ground with a sad face and seconds later she popped her head up with a smile on her face and said, ‘That's ok! Can we just have cake and balloons in my room?’” he wrote on Instagram, where he has documented Leah's fight against Stage IV neuroblastoma. “Seeing how she handles bad news really amazes me and continues to really put life into a different perspective.”
Still wanted his daughter to celebrate her birthday with more than cake and balloons, so he booked a trip to her favorite place, Disney World.
"She thinks we are going to Cincinnati so when she figures out where we are really going I'm sure it will make her care a little less about her spending her bday in the hospital," he wrote.
It looks like it worked!