How does one properly thank the people responsible for saving their life? It's a question Damar Hamlin has been mulling since Cincinnati doctors saved his on Jan. 2.
The Buffalo Bills safety is back in the city for the Bills' game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday evening. It's Hamlin's first time returning to Paycor Stadium since he was resuscitated on the field after he suffered cardiac arrest.
Even though Hamlin will be inactive for the contest, he used his time in the city to meet with the 10 medical professionals who helped him regain consciousness. Hamlin took the UC Medical Staff members out to dinner and surprised each one of them with a scholarship in their name.
Last night I had dinner with my heroes. 10 of the UC Medical Staff that helped save my life.
I surprised them with a scholarship named after each of them that will support youth in Cincy to chase their dreams.
Wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them!🏾 pic.twitter.com/sEOCDkwYvk
— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) November 5, 2023
For the next three years, Chasing M’s, Hamlin’s charitable foundation, will award $1,000 in scholarships to "support youth in Cincy to chase their dreams." There will be 10 people picked to correspond with the 10 medical professionals — nurses, doctors and first responders — who aided Hamlin.
“I’m humbled by the opportunity to set up a scholarship program to honor this team of professionals — my Cincinnati heroes — who helped save my life,” Hamlin, 25, said in a statement. “Today, as I look at honoring these Cincinnati heroes and lifting up young people who are trying to find their way, I’m reminded of the enormous blessing I’ve been given through my charity and the generosity of people around the world.”
Hamlin founded his charitable organization while he was still a player a Pittsburgh, and he was inspired to do so based on his own life experiences as a young scholarship recipient. That scholarship allowed him to attend Central Catholic High School and that set him on a path to eventually play in the NFL.
While Hamlin has played in only one game this season, he has been busy off the field with Chasing M's. In the aftermath of his medical scare, the organization has received more than $9 million in contributions, and Hamlin has spread the wealth in a variety of fashions. Most notably, he has been a huge advocate and supporter of CPR training at the youth levels and he has provided automated external defibrillators to sports leagues around the country.
The Bills and Bengals will face off Sunday night.