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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

JT’s Angel Fund Delivers Emergency Financial Assistance To Mid-Atlantic Locals Diagnosed With ALS And Their Families

December 22, 2020 GMT

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Dec. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Providing a crucial life raft for individuals in Virginia diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and their families throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we are honored to announce the official foundation of (Josh’s Miracle) JT’s Angel Fund.

The vision of Virginia Beach native Josh Thompson before his passing last fall, this crucial resource will provide emergency financial assistance to relieve financial burdens caused by the Covid-19 pandemic for eligible ALS families in Virginia.

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Managing this charitable fund is a deeply personal mission for everyone involved, including Josh’s family, the Virginia Gentlemen Foundation, and the ALS Association’s Virginia Chapter.

Josh’s father, Virginia Beach developer Bruce Thompson, along with non-profit group the Virginia Gentlemen Foundation, has raised over $30 million to fulfill Josh’s vision of providing research funding for ALS and to build facilities for people with disabilities.

“Last November, just before he took his last breath,” Bruce Thompson recalls, “Josh said to me ‘Dad, can we do something to help families with ALS who have financial hardships?’ We discussed both the tremendous financial burden families experience when caring for an ALS patient, and the potential for the caregiver or spouse to either lose their job or contract COVID. His final request was to help those suffering with this horrific disease and that is what we are doing.”

Joining Bruce in supporting and overseeing the fund is the ALS Association’s D.C., Virginia, and Maryland chapters, and Virginia Beach-based ALS-focused non-profit The Virginia Gentlemen Foundation, of which Josh’s brother, Chris, was a founding member.

All parties are working together to determine eligibility and administer funds throughout the Christmas season and beyond, utilizing $200,000 raised by Josh, whose charitable stance and efforts both created and inspired the fund, which is named for and dedicated in his memory by the people who loved him most.

Although a majority of those with ALS are diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 70, Josh was only in his early thirties at the time of his diagnosis.

Despite this shocking blow, he labored bravely and tirelessly to help make life better for others confronting the same challenges.

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Among his countless triumphs, he established JTWalk and Beach Party, which raised millions of dollars for research funding and assisting others who share the same neurodegenerative condition.

In addition, the passionate surfer helped launch the wheelchair-accessible, beachside playground known as JT’s Grommet Island Park; a children’s ambulance for Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters; and JT’s Camp Grom, an adventure camp for children with disabilities and wounded veterans, as well as their families. He was truly a bright light in the life of so many.

Before Josh’s passing this past October, he allocated the proceeds he and his team raised during JTWalk 2020 to establish JT’s Angel Fund to help others with ALS through the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic with emergency financial assistance.

Simple, short grant applications are currently being accepted through JT’s Angel Fund for funding that helps with rent and mortgage payments, utility expenses, installments, in-home care, maintenance fees, taxes, insurance costs, and childcare expenditures for those with ALS who are eligible for relief.

Grants will generally be made in amounts up to $5,000 to reimburse applicants or pay providers, vendors, or a company for specific expenses. Currently, the grants are limited to one-time requests.

As many as 30,000 people in the U.S. are currently diagnosed with ALS, with 5,000 new cases being identified each year. Unfortunately, there is no current cure for this progressive neuromuscular disease, despite improved research and treatments that can help people live longer, more productive lives.

Through JT’s Angel Fund, we hope to honor Josh Thompson’s courageous battle with ALS as well as his unwavering commitment to creating a better world for all those who have been diagnosed with the condition.

ALS families who wish to apply for financial support can reach out to the below for details:

Tremetris Harrell
ALS Association
Patient Services Coordinator
tharrell@alsinfo.org
301-356-8121

To donate to the fund, visit: https://www.jtwalk.org/team/joshs-miracle/

JT’s Angel Fund
In 2020 Josh Thompson generously dedicated the funds that he and his Walk team raised during JT’s Walk 2020, a Virginia Gentlemen’s promoted Walk, for the purpose of establishing a grant program intended to reduce the financial burden of ALS, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, for those with the disease and their families living in the Hampton Roads, Central Virginia, and Southwest Virginia territories. Donations to the Angel Fund are being accepted to help further the reach of this financial support.

The ALS Association – DC/MD/VA Chapter
The ALS Association – DC/MD/VA Chapter is an affiliate of The ALS Association, which is the only national not-for-profit voluntary health and human services organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS and to providing state of the industry care to the Persons with ALS (PALS), their families and caregivers living in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia region.

The Virginia Gentlemen Foundation
The Virginia Gentlemen Foundation was formed in 2007 by a group of young men who grew up together in Virginia Beach, became successful businessmen, and learned the importance of giving something back. They decided to pool their resources and talents to help area families affected with disabilities. Soon after the Virginia Gentlemen Foundation was born as a non-profit organization, the brother of one of the founding members was diagnosed with ALS. In response, the Virginia Gentlemen Foundation narrowed its focus to support the local fight against ALS. With energy and resourcefulness, the Virginia Gentlemen Foundation has since rallied the community and the region in unprecedented ways, quickly becoming a leading fundraiser for the ALS community. Its signature event, the JT Walk and Beach Party, has had more than 30,000 participants over the past 10 years, raised in excess of $30 million, and given millions of dollars to ALS research teams throughout the United States.

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SOURCE The Thompson Family