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#1 Posted by elaine95 5 months 2 weeks ago
elaine95
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CINCINNATI (AP)Devon Still describes his daughter as ”your typical Womens Joe Mixon Jersey , soon-to-be 8-year-old.” Nothing’s typical about Leah Still , who faced long odds against reaching that eighth birthday. Or about her father, a former NFL defensive lineman who retired after last season and has immersed himself in a second career – helping other families deal with childhood cancer.”We call it recycling our pain,” Still said.Still retired last December after another foot injury sidetracked his career, deciding that at 28 years old, it was time to move on to something else. It was a difficult moment – he’d played football since age 13 and spent three years with the Cincinnati Bengals and one with the Houston Texans.”The most successful people know when it’s time to call audibles,” he said.Even when that means giving up a promising career that began when he was a second-round pick out of Penn State.”Since I got to the NFL in 2012, I feel it’s been a roller coaster,” Still said in a phone interview from Houston, where he now lives. ”I tell people all the time that my life has been like climbing a mountain. When I got to the top of the mountain, the view wasn’t what I thought. Making it in the NFL wasn’t what I thought. I had so many injuries.”The biggest surprise came in June 2014, when Leah – then 4 – was diagnosed with stage four of a rare cancer that affects primarily infants and young children. She was given a 50/50 chance to survive.Still shared her story through videos and interviews. Sports fans as well as people who couldn’t name an NFL team became engrossed in her struggle. Surgeons removed a tumor from her abdomen. She got chemotherapy, radiation and experimental treatments. There were setbacks and very dark days when the treatments seemed to be inadequate.More than three years later, the cancer is in remission and Leah is ”just trying to be a kid again,” as her father describes it. In addition to attending school, she’s tried gymnastics and cheerleading. She’s signed up for acting classes.And Still is trying to recycle those difficult years into helping other parents going through the same experience.He formed the Still Strong Foundation in 2015, helping families dealing with childhood cancer to cover non-medical bills so they can devote more time and resources to fighting the disease. He works with other foundations such as the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation trying to find new treatments.He’s also gone back to school as part of his second career.Still got a degree in criminal law at Penn State with the idea of helping juvenile delinquents when his football career ended. He’s working on a master’s degree in leadership at the University of Houston that will help him navigate corporate culture as he advocates for families.At times when he’s sharing his story with families, those memories of Leah’s ordeal return fresh. He’s gotten to know children who don’t survive the disease.”That’s tougher,” he said. ”I feel sometimes we suffer from survivors’ remorse.”Leah has a photogenic smile that brightens the room – people saw it in Still’s tweets during her treatments – and reminds Still of his priorities.”Honestly, to this day I just sit there and stare at Leah Vincent Rey Jersey White ,” he said. ”I meet so many kids that pass away from this. I may have lost something I wanted so bad – being in the NFL – but I still have my daughter and that’s so much more important.”During his daughter’s ordeal in 2014, Still got home from a Bengals’ practice and saw a local television story about Lauren Hill, the Mount St. Joseph freshman who played basketball with an inoperable brain tumor. He decided to visit Lauren and brought her a Bengals jersey as a gift.”They sat and talked forever,” said Lauren’s mom, Lisa. ”It was almost like a bond, like they’d known each other longer than just meeting. I distinctively remember her saying she felt like she knew him forever. Their conversation just flowed.”After Hill scored two baskets in her first game, she visited Still at Paul Brown Stadium and gave him one of her game jerseys . Soon after, Leah met Lauren at a Bengals game. The families formed a bond as they crossed paths at various events.”Lauren’s story came out and, in kind of a weird way, you feel alone because you’re being barraged with a lot of media coverage,” said Lisa Hill, who works with The Cure Starts Now Foundation . ”As a parent, it’s nice to have that camaraderie and know you’re not alone.”It was the same for Still, who was taken aback when Lauren gave him the game jersey.”I knew they understood what I was going through,” Still said. ”Talking to Lauren and her parents put life in perspective.”A perspective that’s carrying him into his second career.—The Debrief: Bengals facing dynamic players in Carolina It’s inching closer to that time of year when darkness saturates the sky as you’re exiting the office around 6:30 p.m. Summer is over. It’s fall. And before you know it, winter solstice. You’re exhausted. You’re in a rush. Hurry, get the kids to soccer practice or gymnastics. You’re spent — today was a rough day, you champion of the cubicle. In the meantime, you’re not sure what happened with the Bengals. You can’t navigate 20 stories on the site; there’s no time to read everything. This is my day. Everyday. Pulling out of the office on Thursday, it occurred to me... if Cincinnati traded Andy Dalton Alex Erickson Jersey White , when would I have known? So I’m testing something today: A brief recap in the evening that covers published stories throughout the day. A one-stop-shop for America’s busiest folks. This won’t be a nightly feature — there are some days nothing happens and my professional life is equally hectic. Maybe 4-5 times a week. Unless it takes off and the site embraces the idea. But I want to test this for about a month. It’ll be like a “Bengals Bytes” but in the evening. This is my way of catching up, and I figure we could share that brief journey together.Feedback is good. Is there interest? I know my first suggestion... shorten it. This will be more informal. Fun. Relaxing. Less wordy. Trust me. I’m figuring this out too. Tell me your thoughts in the comments, on Twitter, or snail mail. 1) Concerning the Bengals defense against Cam and Christian. Matt Minch breaks down Christian McCaffrey and the headache he might cause Cincinnati’s defense, writing that “McCaffrey will be a big challenge to this linebacker group and the defense on a whole. His skill set fits perfectly into the weakest aspect of the Bengals defensive.” He’s right.McCaffrey posted 14 receptions for 102 yards last week against the Atlanta Falcons.“Last year, we were just kind of learning and growing with him and him growing with us,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said of McCaffrey via the Enquirer. “This year we have a much better feel for how to use him and exploit him.”Bengals defensive coordinator Teryl Austin will also have his hands full with a dynamic quarterback in Cam Newton, who leads the Panthers with 100 yards rushing. The mothership adds: “He’s made a lot of good decisions these first two games,” coach Ron Rivera said via the Associated Press. “I’m real excited about the progress Cam has shown in terms of understanding and getting a feel for what coach Turner wants.”Cincinnati’s young defense, especially their linebackers, needs to prepare themselves against a troublesome offense. “It’s not foreign to them,” Bengals defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said of his young players via the Dayton Daily News. “They’re used to it, they’ve seen it. The biggest thing is making sure they know what our plan is and executing our plan.” Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports2) Evolution at running back. With Joe Mixon sidelined for a couple of weeks, backup running back Giovani Bernard is expected to start Sunday. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is confident Bernard can carry the team during Mixon’s absence.“He’s really physically unique being able to do that with his stature, to play the way he plays,” Lazor said. “He finishes runs, he doesn’t run out of bounds, he doesn’t go down easily. I think he’s a warrior. I have great respect for him. Do we have to be smart with him? Absolutely. But no different than with any starting running back.”Bernard was limited during Wednesday’s practice, but was full-go on Thursday. Additional Moves: Tra Carson cleared waivers on Thursday and was placed on Injured Reserve. Carson, who suffered a hamstring injury on Monday Andrew Billings Jersey White , was placed on waivers after the team signed Thomas Rawls.Stepping it up: In the meantime, Mixon ran on a zero-gravity treadmill and optimistically said that he feels great. “Doing some striders and getting in a little conditioning.”3) It’s just a bug. Starting right tackle Bobby Hart sat during practice on Thursday due to an “illness”. Backups Jake Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi filled in. Jason Marcum argues that Hart “needs to be benched” anyway. PFF analysis agrees — he’s the lowest graded offensive player in Cincinnati and ranked 92nd out of 94th among all offensive tackles in the NFL. Not working on Thursday: Hart was joined by Mixon (knee) and Billy Price (foot) on the “did not participate list”. Michael Johnson (knee) remained limited, as was Preston Brown (ankle). Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images4) A.J. Green from the slot. The Athletic’s Joe Goodberry reviews A.J. Green’s producti
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