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Damar Hamlin launches scholarship in tribute to first responders

The Buffalo Bills safety returned to Cincinnati and unveiled a scholarship for the city's youth in honor of the medical team that saved his life.
Damar Hamlin launches scholarship in tribute to first responders
Posted at 12:11 PM, Nov 06, 2023

Damar Hamlin returned to Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati Sunday for the first time since he went into cardiac arrest last season — the last time the Buffalo Bills visited the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin took a moment after the game to reflect, standing alone at midfield, visibly emotional.

You can watch that moment below:

Hamlin's Chasing M’s Foundation announced Sunday the launch of a new scholarship program for Cincinnati youth in honor of the medical team that helped save his life.

The Buffalo Bills safety went into cardiac arrest during the Bills' January 2023 Monday Night Football game against the Bengals. Hamlin was treated on the field by independent medical personnel along with local paramedics before being taken by ambulance to a local hospital. His recovery was closely followed by fans of both teams.

“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 on Jan. 2,” Hamlin said. "I created this scholarship program to recognize each of them for what they have done for me, while also lifting up kids in underserved communities who are in need of some support as they look to go to a private high school, trade school or on to college."

Hamlin said the opportunity to receive a scholarship to go to his high school in Pittsburgh was something that changed the course of his life.

"Without it, I would not be who I am today, and I’m forever grateful," Hamlin said. "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.”

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The scholarship will specifically support underserved high school and college-bound students hoping to attend Greater Cincinnati area private high schools, trade school or Cincinnati-area universities.

The program will award 10 $1,000 scholarships — one in the name of each of the 10 people who were involved in Hamlin's care. The Chasing M’s Foundation has pledged a total of $10,000 per year in funding over a three-year period to support the scholarship program.

Scholarships will be named after the following individuals: B. Woods Curry, MD (airway physician, field response); Betty Tsuei, MD (surgical ICU); Saad Ahmad, MD (cardiology); Jason McMullan, MD (emergency response physician, field response); 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).

The Chasing M's Foundation said that further details for students interested in applying will be available on the charity's website in the coming weeks. The first round of scholarships will be awarded in 2024.

This story was originally published by Michael Coker at Scripps News Cincinnati.

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