A veteran goalkeeper coach and fixture in the Southern California soccer community, “Big Joe” Velasco had plans to celebrate his birthday on August 24, 2019. Unfortunately, he wound up being admitted to Little Company of Mary Hospital instead.
Big Joe had been a longtime diabetic, and an infection had overtaken his right foot. Two weeks and two surgeries later, he had two toes amputated. Additional reconstructive surgery is still needed to help him make a full recovery.
The founder of Impact Goalkeeper Academy, aka IGA, Big Joe’s income relies on his work as a coach. IGA is a non-club affiliated academy focused solely on goalkeeping. Its weekly goalkeeper trainings and regularly scheduled camps have attracted thousands of players over the years from Southern California and beyond. The trainings have helped develop goalkeepers who have played at every collegiate division, and internationally as well.
Big Joe has dedicated his adult life to IGA and to his "sons and daughters" of the game. Now our coach needs our help. Soccer is his life, and it helps provide for his family. While Big Joe focuses on healing, he will not be able to do what he loves most: training the goalkeepers of tomorrow.
While he is on the path to a healthy lifestyle and has now been insulin free since the hospital visit, Big Joe still has a difficult and expensive road to recovery in the weeks and months ahead. There is still another surgery to be paid for, mounting medical bills and COBRA payments. On top of it all, he is unable to coach, creating a financial hardship for his wife and three children.
The goal of this GoFundMe is to help Big Joe financially through the recovery process and get him back on his feet and on the field where he belongs. He has helped countless kids and families. Now it’s time for all of us to help him. No amount is too big or small. Your help is truly appreciated. Thank you!