Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still posted an emotional tribute to Lauren Hill on Friday, following news of the 19-year-old's death.
The pair got to know each other as Hill (diagnosed in October 2013) and Still's daughter, Leah (diagnosed in June 2014), struggled to fight cancer. Both stories inspired the nation as Hill and Still sought to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer. Still recently shared that his daughter is in remission. Hill died on Friday.
The football player took to Instagram upon hearing the news of Hill's death to share a photo taken when he exchanged jerseys with her late last year. Hill had earlier in November fulfilled her dream of playing in a collegiate basketball game, and she surprised Still's daughter with her game-worn jersey. Hill later attended a Cincinnati Bengals game to show her support for Still.
Still, in the post, invoked the words of the ESPN's Stuart Scott, who died in January after his own battle with cancer:
"When you die it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you leave." Lauren never let this terrible disease define her. She didn't let it control whether she lived out her dream of playing college ball and she fought to live pass what doctors originally told her she would. Lauren left her mark on this world by showing people what it really meant to NEVER GIVE UP. So would I say she lost her battle with cancer? Hell no! Because of her fight and selfless act of using her fight to raise an incredible amount of money and awareness, doctors will one day find a cure for DIPG! It hurt like hell seeing the news this morning and i'm not even sure how I'm going to tell my daughter. In the past two weeks, two kids that I have met and develop relationships with have passed from cancer smh something's got to give its not right #For22 #LaurenStrong