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Leah Still the one

Devon Still admitted he was  "all over the place," during Thursday night's sea of emotion at Paul Brown Stadium.


Leah Still waving to her dad during warmups from teammate Domata Peko's suite.

Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer walking across the line of scrimmage to hug him at the end of the first quarter when the Bengals made their check presentation to Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Leah  on the field waving to the biggest crowd of the season, where  she could see some of those No. 75 jerseys striping the crowd of 65,871.

It was those jerseys, sold at $100 each at the Bengals Pro Shop that made the club's donation of $1.3 million possible.

"I know she's been talking about getting on that field for a long time," Still said. "I know she's going to have a lot of stories to tell me when I get back to see her."

The Bengals are off this weekend, but not Leah and her dad. They're  flying back to Philadelphia Saturday, where they'll take a class Monday before Leah begins her radiation treatments Tuesday in an effort to eliminate the rest of her cancer.  Diagnosed with Stage 4 back in June with cancer in her legs, arms, hips, chest, and skull, four rounds have knocked it out of everywhere but the chest and lower extremities.

  "It was emotional," Still said. "She showed so much courage. She's been able to use my platform to raise the awareness of pediatric cancer. If she didn't have that resiliency that she's been showing, I wouldn't be able to control myself out there. All the credit goes to her. What I'm doing is easy. Just talking about her story. What she's doing is the hard part."

It wasn't hard for Hoyer to greet Still as they stood on the field watching the ceremony between the first and second quarter.

"I followed that being a father myself," Hoyer said. "I can't imagine what's he's gone through. Reading the stories, it gets you choked up because you put yourself in that situation and with especially how demanding this job is, I just went over and told him I respect the hell out of him, I pray for him and his daughter. It sounds like things are going well. She gets to come to the game tonight — what a special moment for him. From one father to another, I just (wanted) to show him how much I respect him and hope everything works out for the best."

There were also a special moments before the game, like at the team hotel where Leah appeared at the team walk-through, and in the PBS gym, where she visited the cheerleaders and got a uniform.

"She loves it. She loves the camera. She thinks she's a movie star," Still said. "She's handled this whole ordeal tremendously. I never expect a four-year old to be able to go through this and be able to understand what she's going through and be able to put a smile on her face."

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