WATCH: Jason Pierre-Paul Donates $20K To New York Presbyterian Burn Center

James Kratch | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
March 02, 2016 at 1:27 PM, updated March 02, 2016 at 2:53 PM

NEW YORK — Jason Pierre-Paul has battled his way back from his now-infamous Fourth of July fireworks accident. But even as the Giants‘ pass rusher has been able to return to his life and to the football field, playing in eight games this past season, he has not forgotten what he experienced.

“As I was sitting in the hospital on July 5, there were a lot of burn [victims] in there. And I was one of them,” Pierre-Paul said. “And just walking through the hospital, I saw a lot of burn people. People that lost hands, people that lost legs, due to fireworks incidents or whatever. And it just made me think, every time I look at my hand, it just made me think about the burn center.”

With those sentiments in mind, Pierre-Paul and CareOne Management donated $20,000 on Wednesday to the Burn Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Weill Cornell Medical Center. Ever since his accident, reaching out to individuals facing the same challenges he has overcome has become a passion for Pierre-Paul.

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“The past is the past,” Pierre-Paul said. “But every day, someone is struggling through something, trying to survive. And this is an awesome place.”

Pierre-Paul declined to speak with the media after the brief press conference, and did not take questions during it. The defensive end is set to become an unrestricted free agent next week.

The Giants are interested in bringing him back, and have had discussions with his representation, but it would likely only be on a one-year, prove-it deal. But there is a good chance Pierre-Paul will be offered a long-term deal worth more money than the Giants are willing to give on the open market, which could bring about the end of the 2010 first round pick’s career with the team.

Pierre-Paul had surgery on his damaged hand after the season. He was not wearing any cover on his right hand during the press conference, and both Giants head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese told reporters the procedure went well. But McAdoo said it is not yet known if Pierre-Paul will be able to play without the cumbersome club on his hand, which limited his tackling ability this past season.

James Kratch can be reached at jkratch@njadvancemedia.com or by leaving a note in the comments below. Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch. Find and like NJ.com Giants on Facebook

March 10, 2016 | Posted by CareOne | Filed in Blog, News, Press Releases