The JT Townsend Foundation (JTTF) was established in 2008 with a mission to help children and adults living with disabilities on the First Coast with financial assistance and adaptive equipment often denied by insurance and to fund spinal cord injury research. While JT was with us, he would instruct his sisters how to assemble the equipment and they would drive him to deliver each piece. He loved to spend time with the recipients and their families. The families felt inspired them and hopefully every time JT visited them.
After JT’s sudden passing, JT’s dream continues on. To date, JTTF has helped over 300 families with $600,000 given in assistance and equipment. Carmen Townsend, JT’s mother work daily on the giving team for JTTF. She handles the phones, works up the applications, orders the equipment, and delivers each piece keeping JT’s good work going. JTTF truly understands the great needs of this community. The JTTF team is a blessing and a source of faith, support, and inspiration to all who welcome them into their homes. In 2017, Champions for Hope provided $200,000 giving JTTF the opportunity to deliver a piece of equipment each week to a person in need.
In 2016, Pancreatic Cancer surpassed breast cancer to become the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. It is scheduled to become the number two cancer killer by 2020. There has been no change in treatment protocol for pancreatic cancer in fifty years. At a five-year survival rate of 9 percent, awareness of this lethal cancer needs to be raised now.
Champions for Hope will specifically help fund research for pancreas cancer early detection. In three years CFH has gifted JTTF $475K to help continue their mission aiding the disabled community giving JTTF the abiliity to deliver one peice of equipment per week to a deserving family.
In three years, CFH has been blessed to be able to gift Mayo Clinic $1.350M to fund the three hand-picked research projects that show promise in finding an early detection for pancreas cancer. This year, the research laboratory located in the Griffen Building at Mayo Jacksonville Campus was named The Judi Zitiello Laboratory in her honor. Research continues daily and promising discoveries are being made by clinicians headed up by Dr. Peter Storz. Ph.D. whose focus is on the pancreas and other types of cancer biology.