CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward and his Make Them Know Your Name Foundation, started with his mother and bother, are making a sizable donation to University Hospitals in an effort to help raise awareness about heart health.
Ward and MTKYN are donating $150,000 to the University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, which will be used to create a community education initiative surrounding heart health.
The donation is one of many connections Ward has made with the UH institute, having most recently provided a patient with two Super Bowl tickets after hearing his story of how he suffered a cardiac arrest and was saved by a bystander who administered CPR. His work with MTKYN also earned him the nomination for the 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Ward's father died unexpectedly in 2016 after suffering cardiac arrest at a spin class. No one around at the time of the incident attempted CPR and the automated external defibrillator (AED) on-site was not used. Since that moment, Ward, his family and their foundation have been working to raise awareness of heart health.
“I know first-hand what it is like to experience a loss due to a cardiac episode,” said Ward. “That’s why I’m so passionate about expanding outreach and education in this city that means so much to me, with hope of being able to expand our reach even further in the future.”
UH said that nearly half a million Americans die from cardiac arrest each year and while it is fatal around 90% of the time, performing immediate CPR can double or triple the chance of survival.
MTKYN has helped provide CPR training, AED equipment and resources and providing community education to promote heart health across Northeast Ohio—a mission greatly advanced with the most recent $150,000 donation.
“To receive this type of support from Denzel and the Make Them Know Your Name Foundation means we can continue in our mission to improve the health of all people in Northeast Ohio. Through education and awareness we save lives,” said Mehdi Shishehbor, DO, MPH, PhD, President of UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, and Angela and James Hambrick Chair in Innovation.
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