“He’s fighting. He is a fighter,” Rooney said, adding that fans had been visiting the hospital praying for Hamlin.
Hamlin has raised money through his foundation Chasing M’s, which he has used in the past to run two annual toy drives on the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe. That GoFundMe page, which has a stated goal of $2,500, had raised more than $3.6 million by Tuesday afternoon.
For the toy drive, Hamlin wrote: “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.”
At around noon on Tuesday, the Hamlin family issued a statement through Rooney’s Twitter account.
“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time. We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country,” the statement says. The full statement can be read below.
Hamlin, of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, attended Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School and was named the state’s Class AAAA Defensive Player of the Year while there.
The 6-foot-1, 201-pound defensive back was a star athlete at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was named a captain. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.