‘God Using Me as a Vessel’: Damar Hamlin to Give Back After Near-Death Experience
By Movieguide® Contributor
In his first public comments since going into cardiac arrest, NFL player Damar Hamlin expressed his gratitude and shared his vision for the future.
“What happened to me on Monday Night Football I feel was a direct example of God using me as a vessel to share my passion and my love directly from my heart with the entire world,” Hamlin said, “now I’m able to give back to the kids and communities all across the world who need it most, and that’s always been my dream.”
Hamlin was speaking of his Chasing M’s foundation, through which he raised over $9 million for children’s toys last December. Damar started the Chasing M’s foundation in 2020 as a way to give back to his community while starting his entrance into the NFL. Although the foundation only raised a couple thousand dollars in its first two years, it has seen an explosion of donations following Hamlin’s injury.
Hamlin understands the opportunity he has as an NFL player to be a role model to many, a responsibility he does not take lightly.
“It’s always been important to me to be a role model,” Hamlin said, “[I want to] be that example that they can look to touch, feel [and] talk to.” Hamlin is known in his western Pennsylvania hometown, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, to visit youth football practices, work out with the kids and sign autographs after practice.
In his comments, Hamlin also gave an extended ‘thank you’, expressing gratitude for the medical personnel who helped him recover, the NFL for rooting for him over team allegiances, his teammates who constantly reached out to him, his mom, dad and ‘lil bro’, and the children who sent him letters and heartwarming gifts.
Hamlin did not address his future plans for the NFL but believes that the future has great things in store.
“This is just the beginning of the impact I [want] to have on the world and with God’s guidance I will continue to do wonderful and great things.”
The impact of Hamlin’s cardiac arrest extends beyond his charitable acts. Much of the nation turned to prayer following his collapse on Jan 2.
Moviguide® previously reported:
People from around the world have gathered to pray for Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin, who went into cardiac arrest mid-game on Monday.
“Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His 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,” the Bills tweeted shortly after midnight on January 3.
Hamlin’s family said they will share updates on the 24-year-old “as soon as we have them,” and thanked fans and medical personnel for their support.
“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time,” they said in the statement, which was shared by Hamlin’s friend and marketing rep Jordan Rooney. “We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words and donations from fans around the country.”
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