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Bills and Bengals fans unite for heart health fundraiser

Hearts 4 Hamlin & Higgins will raise money for the American Heart Association.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Bills Mafia and the Bengals' Who Dey Nation will be rivals on the field on Sunday, but the two fan bases have united for a big fundraiser to raise awareness for heart health.

Emily McGaha roots for the Bengals and Erin Oliver is part of Bills Mafia. They met on a Facebook fan page created after Damar Hamlin's injury earlier this month, and when they realized the Bills would be back in Cincinnati next season, McGaha had an idea.

"I had just put up there like, 'Oh, I wish we could of like kind of keep the camaraderie going. Everybody donate money to, like, heart health or something like that. Something like that. Just to still stay together,' and then Erin jumped on it," McGaha said.

"I replied to Emily, and I said, 'Well, let me take a look and see if I can find something that we can get on board with and promote heart health, especially the piece about CPR certification,' " Erin Oliver added.

They decided a natural fit was to start the "Hearts 4 Hamlin & Higgins" fundraiser for the American Heart Association with a goal of raising $385,000 to represent their jersey numbers combined.

"If folks want to donate, five bucks, three bucks, whatever they want to do, $8, whatever amount they want to donate if they can, that would be fantastic so that the American Heart Association can continue their mission and help where needed," Oliver said.

But they say it's even more important to learn CPR. Oliver did it in college and says she's getting recertified.

And no matter which team wins Sunday, both women say they will support either team in the Super Bowl.

"I am thrilled to be part of this group and now I've got a new friend, so I'm very happy about that," Oliver said.

Added McGaha: "I love both these teams. Definitely from Cincinnati, like Who Dey Nation, love it, love the Bengals, but I have a really, really huge respect for the Bills and their fans, Bills Mafia, everybody up in Buffalo."

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