JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's impossible to count the number of lives improved by J.T. Townsend. His influence was immeasurable.
News that his death sparked an outpouring of support, Facebook was flooded with messages of how he motivated so many.
"I was just stunned, shocked. Honestly I'm still numb about it," said Josh Baker.
Josh Baker connected with J.T. at the University of North Florida. Each earned a degree in Sports Management at UNF and Baker went on to serve on the board for the J.T. Townsend Foundation.
The charity raises money to provide medical equipment to others with disabilities in Northeast Florida.
J.T.'s infectious smile and perserverance through physical pain garnered respect from famous athletes like Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat, his favorite NBA team.
When J.T. graduated from UNF in April, Jaguars star Maurice Jones-Drew stopped by for a surprise visit.
MJD took to Twitter on Wednesday after hearing about his death and posted "Lost a great friend today and inspiration to many. Never forget you J.T."
Then there's photo ops with quarterback Eli Manning, ESPN announcer Chris Berman and New York Giants coach and former Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin.
It's that star-studded attention that generated awareness and donations for his charity.
"It can provide exposure, they can give you opportunities to reach people that you've never maybe reached before," said Baker. "JT had an impact that went beyond Jacksonville. It was really beyond the state of Florida."