CINCINNATI – When Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field at Paycor Stadium on Jan. 2, it took a team of prepared people from Cincinnati and Buffalo to help save his life.
As the Buffalo Bills return to Cincinnati for the first time since that game, Hamlin is honoring some of the people who played a role.
Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation has announced a new scholarship program – Damar Hamlin’s Cincinnati Heroes Scholarship – that will award scholarships in the name of 10 people who were involved in his care in Cincinnati. The program supports underserved high school and college students who wish to attend private high schools, trade schools or universities in the Greater Cincinnati area.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to create a scholarship program to honor this team of professionals – my Cincinnati heroes – who saved my life on January 2nd,” Hamlin said in a statement. “I created this scholarship program to recognize each of them for what they have done for me, while also supporting children in underserved communities who need support as they attend a private high school, vocational school or want to go to another school and college.”
The scholarships are worth $1,000, one in the name of each of the 10 people, with a commitment from the Chasing M’s Foundation for funding over three years. The first round of scholarships is scheduled to be awarded in 2024.
Hamlin is from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, a community he cares deeply about and values supporting and giving back to. Growing up, Hamlin received a scholarship to attend Central Catholic, a private school in Pittsburgh, and play football. Part of his goal in making it to the NFL was having the opportunity to give back, which he can do now.
“Growing up, I struggled with figuring out if I was doing the right thing and if … I never had the person to do what I wanted to do,” Hamlin told ESPN. “Someone from my area who was successful in things like that, someone who was successful in life, who gave back to the community and showed the community that this was the right way to go about things, whether it was football or just about being a player.” A person who leads a life worth living.
The weekend won’t be Hamlin’s first time back in Cincinnati since Jan. 2, as he hosted one of his CPR Tour stops in the city over the summer. Hamlin hosted three CPR tours, also in Orchard Park, New York, and Pittsburgh, to give people the opportunity to learn hand CPR and to give youth sports teams automated external defibrillators. After Hamlin’s cardiac arrest, more than $9 million was donated to a GoFundMe that Hamlin initially set up for a toy drive for a daycare center run by his mother, Nina.
“I feel like God played a big role in all of this. I just saw that I was someone who really did the work and really tried to make a difference somewhere, and I think that’s the case.” [God] I just took it to another level,” Hamlin said. “…I’m just super grateful, super appreciative, super proud.”
The fellowships will be named for the following individuals: B. Woods Curry, MD (respiratory physician, field deployment), Betty Tsuei, MD (surgical intensive care unit), Saad Ahmad, MD (cardiology), Jason McMullan, MD (emergency physician, field deployment). Answer), Claire Deglow, RN (SICU), Alyssa Zimmerman, RN (SICU), Val Lake, RN (SICU), Rob Hursong, EMT-P (Supervisor, Paramedic), John Bush, RRT (Field RT), and Gary Richardson, RRT (SICU RT).
When the Bills play the Bengals on Sunday night, the 25-year-old Hamlin is not expected to be active. He appeared in one game for Buffalo this season in his role as a backup safety. The Bills’ tone leading up to the game was largely as if they were treating it like a normal game week.
“We’ve talked about it before, I just kind of got his input on it, his main goal is for us to get a win,” said Bills cornerback Dane Jackson, a longtime friend of Hamlin’s and college teammate in Pittsburgh. “He’s not really too worried about what happened last year. He says we’ve really experienced it more than he has, if that makes sense. It obviously happened to him, but the aftermath and everything, he wants us to have one. “You’re good to go for it and just get a win.”