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.

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

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.

LAST 5 DAY TREATMENT!! Let's goooo #WhoNeedsToWinThePowerballWhenWeGettingAllThisMoneyFromTheToothFairy #LeahStrong

A photo posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still75) on

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.

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

Keep Reading Show less