The family of a promising 20-year old footballer who was paralysed earlier this month are fundraising for his treatment.

Josh Gurvitz suffered a broken neck and complete spinal cord injury whilst travelling as a passenger in a vehicle that crashed on 5 November in Alabama.

Speaking to Jewish News, Josh’s uncle Ray, who launched the UK campaign to support his treatment, said “People, friends and family have expressed concerns, wanting to offer support, and that’s all we feel we can do at the moment to help him. We sort of feel helpless.”

“If I could replace him, step into his shoes, take the pain away from him I would do, but all I can do is try to raise money for his future needs.”

Josh lives in the U.S.A. with his father, where he attended the University of West Alabama. Ray lives in the U.K., and said: “It’s another frustration, being so far apart. It’s difficult to find ways of supporting not only my brother and the family, but Josh as well.”

Josh with his siblings: L-R: Scott, Adam, Josh and sister Rhianna.

Josh with his siblings. L-R: Scott, Adam, Josh, Rianna.

“In the states Josh has big circle of friends through the university. They’re doing a lot of fundraising activity out there.

Josh's uncle Ray is thinking of inventive ways to raise money, including sponsoring body parts for marathons

Josh’s uncle Ray is sponsoring body parts to raise money in 12 marathons

Josh’s uncle has organised fundraising events in the U.K, telling Jewish News he is going to run 12 marathons in the next year, and is selling space on his clothing and body for sponsorship, in addition to other events to appeal for support.

Speaking about the impact on the family, Ray said the accident has “turned everything upside down.”

“I’m fitting fundraising into my work, and waking up in the middle of the night thinking of other ideas.. it takes it toll, but the main focus is Josh”, he said.

Ray added, that the “kind of money for his care needs assuming that he will be paralysed possibly from the chest down for the rest of his life is gonna be huge. The amount of money we’re raising is pittance if you consider it like that, but it’s more of a funnel to get everyone involved to get everyone focused, to boost morale, and to show Josh that everyone is thinking of and caring for him, that we’re doing whatever we can.”

You can donate to the fundraising campaign here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/JoshGurvitz