From their website.... GrommetIsland.org:
Nobody enjoys the beach more than Josh Thompson. He was an avid surfer. He loved taking his family to the beach. He grew up on the beach and thought he’d be riding his board for years to come. But in late 2006, Josh was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Josh had to turn his attention from riding waves to fighting ALS, a battle few so young have to face.
The fight has been one of frustration. Frustration with barriers to drug access. Frustration with participating in experimental treatments. And frustration with the lack of a cure. But rather than let their frustration turn to bitterness, Josh and his family have converted their frustration to massive mobilization for the search for treatments and eventually a cure.
Last year, more than 7,000 people gathered at the Virginia Beach oceanfront to participate in what would become a record breaking fundraiser for ALS. The unprecedented showing of support and love for Josh Thompson culminated in more than $1 million raised for use in stem cell research, expanded drug access and ALS patient services.
Plans are well underway for an event that will show the world that Virginia Beach is waging a fight of its own against ALS. Working with the national ALS Association, local organizers of the JT Walk have agreed that 100% of sponsor donations and 50% of funds raised by the walk will be used toward the construction of JT’s Grommet Island Beach Park and Playground For EveryBODY. It will be an oceanfront destination for both healthy and disabled children and adults. It will assure everybody of a day at the beach. The remaining 50% of funds raised by the JT Walk will be donated to the ALS Association to use for patient services.