Damar Hamlin is lucky to be alive. That fact can not be minimized. By the sheer grace of God – and amazing medical personnel response – he left the football field with his life.
Hamlin hit Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd and then tried to leave the field. Hamlin was shown slowly struggling to walk when he collapsed. The 24-year-old needed to have his heart restarted, and was given CPR for 10 minutes.
As the Bills Mafia — a nickname for Buffalo fans — has done so many times, they opened their heart — and wallet. Hamlin had set up a GoFundMe during his rookie season and after two years it was closing in on raising $3,000. As of noonET on Tuesday, it is over $4.1M.
The second-year player is currently sedated in a Cincinnati hospital and listed in critical condition.
Support ‘Kelly and Nina’s Daycare Center’
Hamlin launched the GoFundMe in December 2020, before he was even selected into the NFL. At the time he had a simple goal for ‘Kelly and Nina’s Daycare Center’ outside of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
At the time, he posted a heartfelt message.
“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,” he said. “I created The Chasing M’s Foundation as a vehicle that will allow me to deliver that impact, and the first program is the 2020 Community Toy Drive. This campaign gives you the opportunity to contribute to our first initiative and positively impact children who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
The organization made an update to its statement this morning to reflect the on-going situation and increase in support.”
“**UPDATE: This fundraiser was initially established to support a toy drive for Damar’s community, sponsored by the Chasing M’s Foundation.
However, it has received renewed support in light of Damar’s current battle and we can’t thank all of you enough. Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us.
If you would like to show your support and contribute to Damar’s community initiatives and his current fight, this is the place to do so. This is the only current fund that is being used by the Hamlin Family.”
Bills Mafia does it again
It is certainly silver lining, but the Buffalo Bills fans — and NFL fans in general — have historicly displayed an outpouring of support for players.
Buffalo may be on another level though. Certainly Hamlin is one of their own — like Josh Allen’s grandmother, Dawson Knox’s brother, Von Miller’s charity, or a fan’s dying wish — but they have led the way in giving.
Just this season, they came together after Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion. They would hit the internet to donate over $150,000. The got behind Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson and his foundation to donate over $500,000 for backpacks.
Bills Mafia also tossed over $400,000 to the charity of Andy Dalton in 2017 after the Bengal won an otherwise meaningless game that pushed the Bills into the playoffs. He did not forget, and put $3000 in the Hamlin fund.