MILTON — A Milton man who founded an organization which provided more than $100,000 in support to individuals suffering from various medical conditions is being remembered for his selflessness and compassion for others.
Josh Richard, who founded the Walk On Foundation in 2006, passed away recently. He was 39.
In an article which appeared in The Standard-Journal in 2017, Richard’s father Joe said his son was diagnosed with Alport syndrome about 10 years prior. The syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by kidney disease and hearing loss.
In 2006, Richard founded the Walk On Foundation to assist those with medical needs.
One year ago, the organization closed its doors and donated the remaining funds in its treasury — $4,700 to — The Peyty Foundation. That foundation purchases medically necessary equipment for individuals under 21.
At that time, Richard said the Walk On Foundation had provided $110,000 in assistance to 290 families.
Tanya McHale, founder of The Peyty Foundation, said her family developed a close family with Richard’s family.
“Josh’s daughter ended up babysitting for our children,” she said. “Our family came to know his on a personal level.”
McHale noted her appreciation for the Walk On Foundation’s contribution to The Peyty Foundation.
“It meant a lot for The Peyty Foundation to have him even consider us,” she said. “The foundation will always be extremely grateful for him, his efforts, what they did for us.”
McHale also pointed to Richard’s selflessness
“He was a really genuine, really awesome person,” she said. “He cared for a lot of people... Josh was a really awesome person.”
Stephanie Moyer, of Milton, said her family was assisted by the Walk On Foundation. Like with McHale, her family also came to know the Richards on a personal level.
The foundation helped when Moyer’s son, Mason, was hospitalized in Philadelphia with a heart condition.
“When we found out (about Mason’s condition)... Josh and his foundation jumped right in to find a way to raise money (for us),” Moyer said. “When we were in Philadelphia, we had been staying at the Ronald McDonald House.”
The house charged families $15 per day, Moyer said. She wasn’t sure how her family could afford covering that cost during Mason’s long-term hospital stay.
“I called Josh up and I was crying,” Moyer said. “He said ‘Steph, I will take care of this.’”
Working with REF Financial, Moyer said the Walk On Foundation raised the funds necessary to cover her stay in Philadelphia while her son was hospitalized.
“They raised over $1,000 for us to stay in Philadelphia,” Moyer said. “That was gigantic, it was huge.”
It was through the assistance she received from the Walk On Foundation that Moyer developed a friendship with Richard and his family.
“This man genuinely has touched my heart and touched my family,” Moyer said. “I will always love that man as one of my dear friends.”
Donna Bridge, the founder of Kingdom Kidz puppet ministry, got to know Richard through fundraising projects they worked on together.
“One time he reached out to us and said ‘is there any way you could do a program for us? We can’t pay you.’” Bridge recalled. “Of course, we said yes. I saw his heart. He was... a selfless man.”
She added that Richard had “such a generous heart.”
“His pursuit and his desire was to help those who needed medical equipment and attention,” Bridge said. “It was selfless dedication... He, himself, was medically in need and was thinking of others.”
In the 2017 article, Joe said as his son had one kidney removed due to the Alport syndrome. As the disease progressed, he had to undergo a kidney transplant, with a kidney donated by a cousin.
Richard is survived by his wife Kristy and four children, Ainsley, Kade, Joslynn and Adriana.