Words by Tess Becker
During the first quarter of a Monday night football game on 2 January, Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin, suffered cardiac arrest following a relatively routine tackle.
Following nine minutes of CPR, he was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
But out of the devastating news has come some light: the NFL community and larger sports community have come out in a full show of support.
Shortly before being drafted to the NFL in 2021, Hamlin started a toy drive for kids in his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, called the Chasing M’s Foundation. He started this in his final year at the University of Pittsburg.
“As I embark on my journey to the NFL, I will never forget where I come from and I am committed to using my platform to positively impact the community that raised me,” Hamlin wrote on the foundation's GoFundMe page.
The GoFundMe originally had a goal of $2,500, and at the time of writing, it’s raised over $6 million with nearly 200 thousand individual donations.
“Following his injury on the field tonight, fans across the country are showing their support for him and his family by donating to his fundraiser,” GoFundMe tweeted Monday night.
This is part of a larger charitable streak by Bills fans, known as the Bills Mafia. When Bills Quarterback Josh Allen lost his grandmother, they donated $1.1 million to build a new wing at a local hospital.
They also raised $75,000 for the favorite charity of a rival player, the Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson, after he was removed from a 2021 playoff game for a concussion.
In an overnight update, the Bills said Hamlin’s “heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”