There are some people who are born to inspire those around them. Joshua Porter Gunn was one of those people. Born and raised in Saint John, Joshua was a happy-go-lucky child, always involved in sports – particularly soccer and hockey. When Josh was five years old, he began experiencing difficulties with his vision and underwent numerous tests to determine the cause.
A year later, he was diagnosed with Neuronal Ceroid Lipofusinoses, also known as Batten Disease. The rare disorder causes neurological impairment including seizures, dementia, loss of sight and motor skills, as well as the ability to walk, talk, and communicate.
Josh’s passion for life and sport was infectious and inspired everyone around him – especially his brother Tyler. Josh’s love for hockey motivated Tyler and his teammates to play their best each game and enjoy every moment on the ice.
In June of 2015, Josh’s family established the Joshua Porter Gunn Bursary Fund. The Bursary is open to graduating students at St. Malachy’s Memorial High School and Simonds High School, who embody Josh and Tyler’s passion, dedication, and work ethic.
The fund will provide one or more bursaries per year for graduating students of both high schools who have been accepted as a fulltime student at a post-secondary educational institution. Consideration for awarding each bursary includes the following criteria: financial need, solid academic standing, leadership qualities, involvement in extracurricular and community activities, and participation in athletics – particularly minor hockey.
Special consideration will be given to those students who express interest in pursuing a career in the health care field.
After Josh’s passing on July 4th, 2015 his family remains committed to raising funds so that the Bursary Fund will continue to grow, supporting local students in Josh’s name for years to come.