Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still's five-year-old daughter Leah, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 pediatric cancer last year, is experiencing a complication from stem cell transplant known as VOD.
Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still's his five-year-old daughter Leah has suffered a setback in her recovery from Stage 4 pediatric cancer.
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Still told ESPN Cincinnati Bengals reporter Cole Harvey on May 29 that Leah was diagnosed with VOD, a complication which arose from her stem cell transplants. He posted on Instagram on Friday, saying the disease was caught early:
The American Cancer Society (via ESPN) says VOD, or Hepatic veno-occlusive disease, "occurs when tiny veins and other blood vessels inside the liver become blocked." The disease is prevalent among patients who have had allogenic transplants.
It also is common among individuals who receive busulfan or melphalan, two cancer recovery drugs.
VOD is also common among people who had liver issues before the transplant, per ACS (via ESPN). Liver failure and even death can result if left unchecked.
According to Medscape (via ESPN), children who have had stem cell transplantation is between more than five and more than 60 percent.
Coley says Leah Still turned five years old in early May and is just days shy of the first-year anniversary of her diagnosis of neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer which initially gave her a 50/50 rate of survival.
Still announced on Instagram Leah's cancer was officially in remission on March 18:
Leah Still's story made headlines last fall. During this time, the Bengals and other NFL teams raised awareness for cancer among children. The Bengals donated $1.2 million which they generated from Still's No. 75 jersey sales to pediatric cancer research in Nov. 2014, per Harvey.
Leah Still has been receiving treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, per ESPN.
A day after Still announced his daughter's cancer remission, he re-signed with the Bengals, per his agent, Drew Rosenhaus (via NFL.com's Kevin Patra).
In a separate ESPN update, Harvey says Still re-signed for just under $1.54 million.
Still told Harvey on March 21 how much that new deal means to him:
"If you go to another team and you're around a new coaching staff and you're around new teammates, they may not be as open to your situation as the Bengals have been. It would be tough for a team to take on that kind of responsibility because you never know which direction my daughter's diagnosis could go.
"The fact the Bengals are willing to risk that by re-signing me means a lot.
"I definitely didn't warrant a new contract with the Bengals. But they gave me another opportunity to go out there and prove myself. And with my daughter's treatments going good and I'm finally back to being 100 percent -- I was able to put in a lot of time working out this offseason -- I'm definitely looking forward to a way better season than I've had thus far."
In another team development, the Bengals announced they will hold joint practices with the New York Giants on Aug. 11 and 12, per a May 29 official press release on the Bengals' official website.
The joint practices are in preparation for the Bengals and Giants' preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium on Aug. 14, per Bengals.com.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis told the team's official website on Friday these practices should be of great benefit:
"It's great that we were able to make this work with Coach (Tom) Coughlin and the Giants. It's not something we've been able to do every year with another team, but our past experience with it has been good.
"It helps our guys stay sharp and focused as we move through the preseason. You put yourself on the field with another team and let the competitive juices flow a little bit."
Cincinnati had joint practices with the New Orleans Saints in 2007 and the Atlanta Falcons in 2013 before facing both teams in preseason games, per Bengals.com.
Harvey says Still has not attended the Bengals' offseason workouts and organized team activities (OTA) to be by Leah's side.
Still is entering his fourth NFL season. He has amassed 40 tackles, 0.5 sack and one forced fumble in 30 career regular-season games with the Cincinnati Bengals, per ESPN stats.
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