Following Damar Hamlin‘s cardiac arrest, roughly $10 million was raised across two online fundraisers to support the Buffalo Bills player. Now, he says he plans on donating the money to charity.
When the NFL player collapsed on the field during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, many were worried he would not recover from the incident. It wasn’t long before various GoFundMe fundraisers were set up to help the athlete.
After nine days in the hospital, suffering from what doctors believe to be known as Commotio cordis, Hamlin began his transition back into everyday life. Rather than dwelling on the scary reality of a near-death experience, the safety star said he came out of the hospital with a brand new outlook on life.
In fact, during the NFL Honor Awards in February, Hamlin said sudden cardiac arrest allowed him to discover an entirely new purpose in this world apart from playing football.
“Sudden cardiac arrest is something I never would have chosen to be a part of my story, but that’s because our own visions are too small even when we think we see the whole picture,” Hamlin said at the time. “My vision was about playing in the NFL and being the best player I could be, but God’s plan was to have a purpose greater than any game in this world.”
While the athlete does intend to return to the NFL field, as he has been cleared by doctors to play, he also believes advocacy for heart health is an equal part of who he is. As an aspect of his health advocacy, he is reinforcing the importance of his charity through certain GoFundMe donations.
A look into Damar Hamlin’s inspirational Chasing M’s Foundation
The 25-year-old plans to use put the money into his own nonprofit, the Chasing M’s Foundation, which was created to support the development, health, & safety of youths in sports. “We have been very deliberate and intentional about taking our time to set my charity up properly,” Hamlin shared in a statement with Associated Press. “I’m excited to begin sharing news about programs we are creating to impact a generation of youth and give back to others.”
Although the project was launched in 2020 when he was still a student-athlete at the University of Pittsburgh, the NFL player finally has the financial status to invest in the non-profit. The organization, which also has tax-exempt status, additionally hopes to bring awareness to CPR & AED training in sports.
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