NFL star, Damar Hamlin, on Monday announced what he intends to do with the $10 million that was raised for him after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a match on January 2. In a statement to The Associated Press, the Buffalo Bills safety said he’ll be donating the funds to his charity, PEOPLE reported.
Following the 25-year-old’s on-field collapse, fans and sympathizers donated to a GoFundMe account he had initially created to raise funds for a local toy drive. Donations were also made to another fundraiser in his name, with about $10 million being raised from both campaigns.
“We have been very deliberate and intentional about taking our time to set my charity up properly,” Hamlin told The Associated Press. “I’m excited to begin sharing news about programs we are creating to impact a generation of youth and give back to others.”
At the beginning of this month, Hamlin reportedly filed for a retroactive tax-exempt status for his Chasing M’s Foundation. The 25-year-old is said to have filed the application in Pennsylvania. In the filing, Hamlin explained his foundation’s mission is to support “the aspirations of youth and community members through sports [and] education” and help “promote health and safety in sports through CPR & AED training.”
Hamlin made the announcement as he prepares to return to the field after recovering from the medical scare. His team also announced he had been “fully cleared” by doctors to play.
“Physically, I’m getting stronger,” Hamlin told the American Heart Association in a recent interview. “I’m just trying to focus on the right foot in front of the left.”
The 25-year-old was playing in a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals when he suffered cardiac arrest. Shortly after the incident, several players and teams sent their thoughts and prayers for the Buffalo Bills safety.
Hamlin spent nine days in the hospital before he was eventually discharged. The 25-year-old has since become a staunch advocate for heart health. In March, he visited the White House to meet President Joe Biden and also appeared before Congress to offer support for the Access to AEDs Act, PEOPLE reported. The Act seeks to help provide schools with more defibrillators.