Thore Jenshus' Ride
Organized by: Thores Ride
Thores Ride via Crowdrise
January 13, 2015
EVENT DATE Jul 15, 2014
This fundraiser is for Thore Jenshus who has been a quadriplegic since a dirt bike accident in 2009. The funds will be used to purchase a van and the equipment needed for Thore to drive on his own. Currently he is driven to and from work by a friend which can be a burden to others and may not continue long-term. This van will allow Thore independence and allow him to contribute to his family and home life. He is hoping to have funds raised by June 2014 so he can go through required training courses before driving on his own for the first time in years!
Please see the additional narrative under the following headings:
- IMPACT of ACCIDENT
IMPACT of ACCIDENT:
The impact of Thore’s accident affected so much more than just his ability to walk. His “new normal” was anything but normal. The ability to take some of the responsibility to manage a household and some of the parenting were all but gone. He had to learn so much more than just the quadriplegia he now endured. He had to learn the art of asking for help. It was something that he rarely ever did. He had to find a way to work and a ride to get there, that took a special person who was generous enough to say yes. He had to learn to ask for a favor just to be able to pick his 6 year old daughter up from school. He has learned the art of asking for help and making sure he says please and thank you for everything he has been given. He has definitely learned how fast a Spinal Cord Injury can humble a person.
What Thore needs now is some of his independence returned to him so that he can do the things that most fathers do: pick up their child from school, drive his self to work, take responsibility in some of his family’s needs, and have the freedom and the ability to continue to provide for his family without having to count on another person.
Thore Jenshus is a husband, father, mechanical engineer at Legend Suspensions and a Rapid City, SD resident who was paralyzed in 2009. If he dropped out of the workforce, absolutely no one would criticize him for it. But he is choosing to continue working.
Thore has always been interested in motorcycles. He started out with a 1979 Yamaha YZ125 in teen years. Got more involved in motorcycles when moved to Rapid City and the Black Hills in 1994. He has had all categories of motorcycles over the years, 15 or so all together. But Dirtbike was the passion. "There is just nothing like riding single track trails in the Black Hills and the great dirtbike community in this area", motocross and endure. Thore has many good friends through the sport, which introduced him to racing, harescrambles and endures.
Being motorcycle enthusiast and mechanical engineer, working at Legend Suspensions in Sturgis is a natural fit.
We all left work at about 4pm on a sunny Thursday afternoon to meet up at a parking lot in Piedmont, SD. The weekly meeting had been happening for many years, this was only my second time coming with them though. In the parking lot there is a flurry of activity with everyone getting on their gear and firing up dirt bikes making sure we were ready to go. Roughly eight of us took off into the woods as soon as we were all ready to go, with the plan of riding from Piedmont to a burger joint called the Sugar Shack and back before nightfall.
I had only met Thore the week before on my first ride with them. Only after an inspection of the protective gear on my bike did he deem it worthy of following along on the ride with them. Apparently I wasn't quite prepared for the grueling riding that was the "normal" Thursday night ride since everyone had to stop and wait for me numerous times. But even after the delays I caused on the first ride Thore thought I should come with them again the next week.
Back to the ride, we set out with nine of us (Thore, Donny, Mark, Mike, Tim, Steve, Ryan, RJ and myself). Miles of technical single track, logs, boulders and hill climbs challenged all of us, not to mention having to wait for the new guy every once in awhile. Thore and the others were great guys and helped me out along the way. A few areas even required me to switch bikes with Thore so he could get my bike through an area. He didn't even get on me too bad when I clipped a few trees with his bike!
Probably around 6pm we made it to the Sugar Shack to take a break and have a burger. Apparently seeing a bunch of guys in full motocross gear show up for a burger is pretty normal on a Thursday night at the Sugar Shack. After the burgers were eaten and a few jabs about riding abilities were exchanged it was time to set off once again. We crossed highway 385 in front of the Sugar Shack and turned southeast following right on the border of an open field. A few hundred yards later a small but technical hillclimb took us back into the trees. Following the single track on the top of the small ridge took us straight east, with the field down down below to the left. About a half mile or so from highway 385 the ridgeline ended and we followed the trail down the hill.
Thore was directly in front of me as we went down the hill. The descent wasn't that steep compared to many of the things we had done on the ride already. Near the bottom of the hill the trail ended with an off camber turn to the right. I saw Thore go into the turn and his front tire washed out a little bit. The details of exactly what happened are a bit fuzzy but I think the front of of his bike clipped a tree and made him highside over his bike down the hill. I didn't think much of it at first because we weren't going that fast and we had all had wrecks worse than that. I went down the last 10 feet or so of trail after the turn and stopped to go check on him.
Someone else was already next to Thore when I walked over. He was laying on his back right next to a tree stump. When he fell off his bike he had hit the stump with the top of his helmet. I remember someone asking if he was alright and he said he couldn't move. My heart stopped when I heard him say that. Thore was incredibly calm, answering questions and telling us what he felt or didn't feel. I just kept hoping it was something like a stinger that you get playing sports after a hard hit or something else that was temporary. The seconds turned to minutes and we all got the sinking realization that this was serious and Thore had a major neck injury. A couple guys jumped on there bikes and took off across the field and took the road back to the Sugar Shack to call 911. A couple of minutes later I decided I needed to go to the Sugar Shack to help escort people to where Thore was laying, the rest of the guys stayed with Thore.
After getting to the Sugar Shack the severity of his injury had finally sunk in and I decided to call my wife Kim who works for Black Hills Life Flight. I told her to call Life Flight and get the helicopter up and on their way to us, and I would send GPS coordinates as soon as I could. I think the volunteer firefighters from Nemo SD were the first to show up and get to Thore. The three of us escorted a few more emergency services vehicles back to the area where Thore was, and one of the Police officers had already radioed the GPS coordinates to Life Flight and was working on finding an area in the field where they could land.
Thore was still doing good when I got back to him, way more calm than I think I could have ever been in that situation. I remember the paramedics checking him out and making sure he was stabilized. One of the Police Officers came over and started asking us questions about the accident and Thore. I remember him saying to the officer "I'm right here, you can just ask me". Like I said, calm.
Night had fallen as Life Flight landed a few minutes later out in the field, they came over got Thore stabilized on a backboard and ready to transport. They used an ambulance that had arrived to move him the 100 or so yards from where he crashed to the helicopter. Thore arrived at Rapid City Regional Hospital about 15 minutes later where Justine was waiting for him.
For the rest of us it was a long quiet ride in the dark back to the trucks hoping Thore was ok.
Written by: Jordan Marshall
ADDRESS FOR DIRECT DONATIONS:
4116 August Dr.
Rapid City, SD 57703
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