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Damar Hamlin announces scholarship program honoring game day first responders

The Cincinnati Heroes Scholarships are named after those who assisted Hamlin when he suffered sudden cardiac arrest on the field


Damar Hamlin/Twitter

By Zach Mentz

CINCINNATI — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has launched a scholarship program for Cincinnati youth in honor of the medical staff that rescued him after he went into cardiac arrest during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in January.

Hamlin’s Cincinnati Heroes Scholarship program, launched by his Chasing M’s Foundation, will support underserved students in the Cincinnati area who hope to attend local private high schools, trade schools or universities, according to a news release.

The scholarship program will award 10 scholarships – each of which will be named after the 10 first responders who assisted him on the field after he collapsed during January’s game against the Bengals. The scholarships will be worth $1,000 each, with Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation pledging a total of $10,000 per year for three years to support the program.

The news of Hamlin’s scholarship program was announced Sunday, when the Bills returned to Cincinnati to play the Bengals for the first time since Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on Jan. 2. The Bengals defeated the Bills on Sunday at Paycor Stadium, 24-18.

“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 January 2,” Hamlin said in a news release. “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.

“When I look back, the chance I was given to receive a scholarship to go to Central Catholic High School in my hometown of Pittsburgh was something that changed the entire course of my life. Without it, I would not be who I am today, and I’m forever grateful. 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,” he added.

The Cincinnati Heroes Scholarships will be named after the following individuals, according to the release: 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).

For students interested in applying for the Cincinnati Heroes Scholarship program, additional details, criteria and information will be available on the Chasing M’s Foundation website in the coming weeks, according to the release. The first round of scholarships will be awarded in 2024.

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