+
More

Devon Still's daughter is officially cancer-free, and social media helped in a big way.

As Devon Still's 5-year-old daughter battled cancer, his social media followers offered amazing support.

This is Devon Still, a player in the NFL who recently signed with the Houston Texans.

Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images Entertainment.

Sure, the dude has big muscles, but his biggest and strongest muscle is his heart.


Just ask Devon's 5-year-old daughter Leah. 

In the summer of 2014, Leah was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a diagnosis that gave her a 50% chance of survival. 

Leah, pictured at the 2015 ESPY Awards. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment.

That's a nightmare for any parent. 

Nobody would fault Devon if he chose to keep his hopes, dreams, and fears about this to himself, but he decided to do something completely different.

He documented his journey with Leah on social media so he could have a support system for his daughter, while also helping others who are going through the same thing. 

The outpouring of love Devon and Leah received was pretty awesome to see, and the #LeahStrong hashtag was born as a universal sign of support as they embarked into the unknown.

Here are just some of the heartwarming photos and messages Devon shared during the tumultuous year: 

1. During one of many trips to the hospital, Devon wished his daughter could live a stress-free life.

2. There were bad days, but Devon always offered his comfort and love.

3. Devon pulled out all the stops to make her smile.

Her beatbox game is CRAZZYY! 😂😂😂

A video posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still75) on

4. Sometimes Devon had to leave on business, and that was heartbreaking for him.

5. But, over the course of time, a beautiful thing happened: Leah got stronger.

LOVE

A photo posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still75) on

6. Then the best news arrived. There was no evidence of the cancer in Leah's body.

7. Leah was all smiles as she got ready for her last round of treatment.

8. And now, Leah's cancer-free!

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

A photo posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still75) on

It's wonderful to see the immense powers of social media being put to good use.

As we admire Devon for his love and dedication to his daughter, he wanted to show his admiration for his followers on social media who helped him along the way.

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.

He also gives great advice to other parents who are experiencing similar challenges.

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. 

Not everyone is as fortunate as Devon and Leah were, and cancer continues to wreak havoc on families all over the world. 

But having a support system helps to demonstrate that there are people on our side. Even when those people are cheering us on from their laptops or smartphones. 

Devon and his daughter Leah endured a tough road together. Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images Entertainment.

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

Keep ReadingShow less