Posts tagged ‘Devon Still’
By now, you know everything there is to know about Leah Still, the five-year-old daughter of former Nittany Lion defensive tackle Devon Still whose battle with cancer has captured the hearts of just about everyone. Today, Devon announced that Leah got the best news possible: she is cancer free. He posted the announcement on his Instagram account, which you can read right here (be warned, you may tear up a little):
With Leah finishing her last treatment last night, I can really say my daughter BEAT CANCER! Words can't describe how proud I am of this girl. No matter how hard it got or how painful the treatments were (and it was pretty bad a lot of the times) she never gave up! I want to thank everyone who followed us as I documented her fight on social media. The amount of support we received was beyond amazing! I can honestly say that you all made a big difference. Every time we received bad news or felt like it was coming to a point were we couldn't fight anymore, I would go to the comments you all wrote cheering us on and it would make us fight so much harder. I ask that since Leah's fight is at the end that you follow other families journeys and cheer them on just as you did us! My advice to any family going through this battle: no matter how hard it gets, no matter what the doctors tell you, always remain positive! Speak victory into existence. Give your child's fight with cancer a purpose. Use it to raise awareness so that you can help all kids fighting this disease. No matter how big or small your platform/following is, you will reach that one family that just needs to know they're not alone in the fight so they don't give up. drop to your knees everyday and pray. I was never a big spiritual person but I always believed in God and knew who to turn to in the time of need. Keeping faith that God will see you through doesn't make the battle easier but it makes winning possible! It gives you back the hope that is stripped away from you every time you watch your kid endure the pain from the treatments and the bad news you often receive from the doctors. #LEAHSTRONG #STILLSTRONG
Bill DiFilippo, online editor
Ryan McGarry has done a lot over the last decade. Since graduating from Penn State, McGarry ’05 has become a physician, directed the critically acclaimed documentary Code Black, and became an executive producer for CBS’ television adaptation of the film. In addition to all of that, McGarry – who we featured in our July/August 2014 issue – is a cancer survivor, having battled a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma while he was a student.
As someone who has “taken significant steps to raise awareness and has been personally impacted by childhood cancer,” McGarry will be the first-ever recipient of the Leah Still Award for Courage at The Hope Gala in March of 2016. The award is named after the daughter of former Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still ’11 who has battled cancer for more than a year.
“Surviving cancer has impacted my life in many ways, including my decision to pursue a medical degree, and my desire to support those who have also been affected by the disease,” McGarry said through a release.
Bill DiFilippo, online editor
The Nov./Dec. 2014 issue of The Penn Stater is hitting mailboxes now, and it just may be my favorite cover to date—a pretty huge statement, considering that A-lister/bus driver we featured earlier this year.
The cover art, courtesy of illustrator Aaron Meshon, is just so darn cheerful. After reading the accompanying story, a compilation of readers’ favorite memories from life in the dorms, you’ll understand what some of those crazy characters are up to. As always, the stories submitted by readers were lots of fun to read, and it wasn’t easy choosing which ones to include. We received so many great stories, in fact, that we’ll be featuring a few of the runners-up here on the blog. Stay tuned for that.
Another highlight in this issue is a story commemorating the 50th anniversary of women’s sports at Penn State. “The Long Game” features lots of archival photos and interviews with the athletes, who share detailed memories of those first years. This was the last piece former senior editor Lori Shontz ’91, ’13g wrote for us before heading to Oregon to teach journalism, and it’s just a reminder of what a thorough reporter Lori is. (We miss her—can you tell?)
You’ll also find a profile of John Kimmich ’93, owner of Alchemist Brewery in Vermont and the man behind Heady Topper—an India Pale Ale widely regarded as the best beer in the world. Kimmich overcame some major setbacks before hitting it big in the beer world, and his story’s a good one.
Also in this issue: A look back at Dr. Dick Bundy’s career as Blue Band director; a cool archeology project that brought a group of undergrads to Israel; an update on former Nittany Lion Devon Still ’11, who’s helping his four-year-old daughter, Leah, fight cancer; and more.
Had a chance to check out the new issue yet? Tell us what you think. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Murphy, associate editor
The university’s announcement of a search committee to help choose the next head football coach has added fuel to the speculative fire for those trying to predict who that coach might be. Of course it’s all just that—speculation—but there are some educated opinions on the matter, including those at Blue White Illustrated and the Patriot News. Just who that coach will be, and whether he’ll be hired before the Nittany Lions play (as expected) in a bowl game, remains to be seen.
There’s less intrigue in most other areas of the Penn State sports world. Among the things we know:
—Devon Still is the Big Ten’s best lineman. It was obvious to anyone who watched the Nittany Lions play this season, and on Monday the league made it official. Here’s the senior defensive tackle (and probable first-round NFL draft pick next year) talking about his success:
—The women’s volleyball team is back in the NCAA tournament. The four-time defending national champs had a “down” year by their recent standards, finishing the regular season 23-7 and earning the No. 8 seed for the NCAAs. In spite of all that, something tells us they won’t be overlooked. The Lions open the tournament against Liberty University; that match is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Rec Hall.
—Hoops season is in full swing.The No. 15 Lady Lions look to improve on a 5-1 start Wednesday night when they host North Carolina at the Jordan Center; also on Wednesday, the Nittany Lions (5-2) travel to Boston College. Both games are part of the annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
When I remember this game, I’ll remember the silence.
I was in the press box, as usual, and so I already knew that Penn State and Nebraska players had planned to meet at midfield for a pregame prayer. Not surprising, not at all, given the trauma of the week, which I know I don’t have to recount here.
But I was unprepared for what actually happened. The sidelines emptied. Everyone converged at midfield—including several hundred former Penn State football players who had come to stand on the sideline in support. They mingled, Nebraska players gripping hands with their Penn State counterparts. They knelt.
And as Nebraska assistant coach Ron Brown led them in prayer, the stadium fell silent. More than 100,000 people, and you could hear the proverbial pin drop—and not because anyone had asked them to be quiet. (more…)