Former NFL Player Devon Was Terrified to Have More Children After His Daughter’s Cancer — Now He’s a Father of 3
“I was scared to have kids again because I was traumatized from what I witnessed, and I never really dealt with that trauma.”
Former Cincinnati Bengals player Devon Still was too fearful to even consider having more children. However, he ended up becoming a father of three. Still and his wife Asha had their second child, Amya Jae, on January 2.
One of the recent reasons why Still found it “surreal” to have his third child stemmed from his eldest daughter, Leah,(who he had from a previous relationship), suffering from neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is a cancer that affects the small glands that are found atop the kidneys (adrenal glands).
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Speaking with TODAY.com, he revealed that his daughter Leah was given a 50/50 chance to live at the age of 4.
And for a while, he put the blame on himself for her diagnosis.
Fearful That Something Is Wrong With the Genetics
“I felt like I had passed it on genetically. And although neuroblastoma is not something that can be passed on through genes, I blamed myself for doing it,” Still explained to TODAY.com.
Still’s mindset sparked fear in him about bringing more children into the world.
“I was scared to have kids again because I was traumatized from what I witnessed, and I never really dealt with that trauma,” he said.
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He also didn’t want to come face to face with the idea that something could be wrong with him or if he had another child, they would be “fragile” or “ill.”
The former Bengals defensive tackle further said this made his wife question what was holding him from having children because they had been married for two years.
“I finally opened up to her and let her know that I was just scared to do it, and she comforted me during that moment.”
How Honesty Set Him Free
Still says being open about his reservations allowed him to be more open to having more children. And as a result, he was able to better understand the “trauma” he was experiencing, which led to them deciding to try for a baby again. And in 2019, the couple gave birth to Aria.
Still further shared that he and his wife tried to have another child again after that. But, they had a miscarriage which caused more heartache.
“We finally decided to process what we went through with the miscarriage and tried to expand our family again. Now, I have three beautiful daughters,” he told the outlet.
As of 2023, Leah made it to seven years cancer-free.
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On January 4, Still shared a touching video of Leah, now 12 years old, and Aria meeting baby Amya.
“Knowing your story, this is really beautiful to see man thanks for sharing!” someone commented.
Another person added: “This is what life is all about. God is so good! God bless you and your family.”
A third wrote: “I almost cried. Although I do not know you guys personally, but I’ve been following since your oldest, Leah, went through her cancer stages. Just to see you guys NEVER gave up and to see where your family is today is so heartwarming. I’m extremely happy for you guys. You guys deserve it, and I hope and pray god continues to bless you guys. The bond you all have with one another is impeccable. Thank you for sharing every life moment with the world. Congratulations [on] the beautiful baby!!!”
Elsewhere, Still further tells TODAY.com that the birth of Amya indicates what happens when you don’t lose “hope.”