Is there anything a pep talk can't help?
Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Devon Still took his four-year-old daughter, Leah, in for pediatric cancer surgery Thursday morning. Prior to entering the hospital, Still gave his daughter the anti-cancer pump-up speech of a lifetime -- a personal, heartfelt moment he was kind enough to share with the world on Instagram:
"I'm going to ask you again," Still says in the video, talking to Leah, who sits in the back seat of their car. "I'm ready for today. Are YOU ready for today?!?"
Leah cracks a smile and nods, "mhmmm!"
"You ready to get this cancer up outta you?!?" Still asks. Leah nods again with an even bigger smile.
Still concludes, "LET'S DO IT!" and the duo fist bump one another in the air.
"I might be nervous and scared beyond words," Still writes in the Instagram caption, "but I'll never let her see it...let's get this done!"
Still's daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 pediatric cancer in June 2014. Later during the summer, the Bengals cut him from the team but still assigned him to their practice roster. The move allowed Still to spend more time with Leah while also maintaining the health insurance so critical to her survival.
The Bengals also started a fundraising campaign via the team's online Pro Shop and will donate all proceeds from sales of Still's jersey to to Cincinnati Children's Hospital and pediatric cancer care and research.
UPDATE: Thursday, 5:25 p.m. -- In a second Instagram post, published after Leah's surgery, Still said his daughter was recovering from a successful 5-hour operation which removed "ALL of her tumor and all of her lymph nodes and her right adrenal gland where it all started from."
Still called it the "best news [he's] received in a long time."