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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- According to Judy Zitiello, President of the JT Townsend Foundation, Jerry Townsend, Jr. (J.T.) passed away Tuesday night.

Zitiello said 26-year-old Townsend's death was very sudden.

Townsend was taken to Memorial Hospital, but we do not know if Townsend passed away at home or in the hospital.

A statement from the JT Townsend Foundation (JTTF) announced the passing of Townsend was issued just before 6 a.m. Wednesday morning.

It's with a heavy heart, the JT Townsend Foundation (JTTF) announces the passing of our Founder, Friend, and President - JT Townsend on Tuesday, June 4. As we cope with the news, let us offer support and comfort to each other and remember the unyielding spirit of JT Townsend and the Townsend family.

At 26 years old, JT embodied courage, service, and love for all. Through adversity and against all odds, JT persevered through extraordinary obstacles graduating from the University of North Florida in May 2013, fostering new breakthroughs in research for spinal cord injuries, and providing aid to countless families living with disabilities in our community. Under his leadership, our organization grew to what it is today.

JTTF will strive each and every day to fulfill his vision and carry on his legacy.

Townsend suffered a spinal cord injury in October 2004, during a high school football game.

Jacksonville remembers JT Townsend

Despite his injury, Townsend received a scholarship to attend Episcopal High School and received many awards and recognition, including The Episcopal High School Foundation Award for Excellence of Character and the Best Athlete of the Episcopal High School Class of 2005, according to the JT Townsend Foundation.

Townsend graduated from the University of North Florida in May, where he was majored in Sports Management.

To donate to the JT Townsend Foundation and keep his legacy alivevisit their website.

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