The award is named for Jimmy Valvano, the former N.C. State men’s basketball coach who gave his famous "Never give up" speech at the 1993 ESPYS eight weeks before dying of cancer.
When 5-year-old Leah was diagnosed with cancer (stage-4 neuroblastoma) last June, she was given a 50/50 chance to survive. Still took time away from the Bengals to tend to her, but the team added him to their practice squad so that he could maintain his health insurance and pay for Leah’s treatments.
As ESPN's release on the Jimmy V award notes, Still spent three weeks sleeping next to Leah in the hospital despite his own back injury. He shaved his head as part of a vow not to grow his hair back until Leah could.
Still announced in March that Leah's cancer was in remission, but that she would continue having treatment to ensure that cancer cells do not return.
In an Instagram post published on Monday, Still wrote that he was "very thankful and honored" to receive the Jimmy V award.
A photo posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still75) on
- Mike Fiammetta