By LISA SPENGLER
Our journey via life is crammed with potholes, detours and roadblocks. The way you get via these obstacles is what builds energy and character. To seek out inspiration when struggling via these difficult occasions, that you must look no additional than to the journey of Jared Fenstermacher.
On Saturday, the 35-year-old Fenstermacher arrived in Ocean Metropolis, his remaining cease on his cross-country biking journey. What makes this remaining cease so outstanding is that his biking journey started on Aug. 11, 2016.
On that day in 2016, Fenstermacher started his private quest to cycle cross-country from Oregon. His mission was to lift cash for the For Pete’s Sake Most cancers Respite Basis (FPS).
Eighteen days right into a 30-day bicycle journey, Fenstermacher hit an unforeseeable roadblock.
His experience ended tragically in Hinton, Iowa. There, he was struck by a truck touring at freeway velocity. He was paralyzed from a spinal wire harm, broke each humeri in his biceps and suffered from a concussion.
He spent practically a month at MercyOne Medical Heart in Des Moines, Iowa, after which was transferred to a rehabilitation middle for an additional six weeks.
One month in the past, regardless of his accidents, which introduced further challenges, Fenstermacher started biking the 1,200 miles he had left from his 2016 experience. The life-altering roadblock he hit in 2016 now seemed to be only a detour.
Along with his bicycle now powered by his arms, not his ft, his dedication to himself and to FPS was stronger than ever. He started this second leg with what many think about a feat of unimaginable energy.
The second leg of his biking experience started in Hilton, Iowa, the place his accident occurred. He then rode via Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa, to Chicago, South Bend, Ind., Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and at last Ocean Metropolis.
After a cease on the Welcome Heart on the Rt. 52 Causeway, Fenstermacher was escorted by Ocean Metropolis police and fireplace automobiles as cheering residents and guests lined his route from Ninth Road to the Music Pier.
Ready on the Music Pier for Fenstermacher’s arrival, Mayor Jay Gillian stated, “We’re simply excited for him to get right here. Heroes, like Jared, have given a lot to assist others and most cancers sufferers.”
On the Music Pier, different Ocean Metropolis dignitaries, together with Metropolis Council President Bob Barr and Council Vice President Michael DeVlieger, and representatives from the nonprofit For Pete’s Sake Most cancers Respite Basis formally welcomed Fenstermacher to Ocean Metropolis.
When requested, “Why Ocean Metropolis?” Fenstermacher replied, “I needed to know that there can be individuals on the finish.”
By ending his experience in Ocean Metropolis, he knew that his household in Egg Harbor Township, his mother and father in Studying, Pa., and his biking workforce Blue Bell Well being Administration based mostly in Spring Metropolis, Pa., would all be there.
However with close to summer-like temperatures and a Boardwalk crammed with residents and guests, Fenstermacher was greeted by an overflowing crowd of well-wishers cheering him to the end.
“I’m simply grateful that I’ve influence, not solely on most cancers sufferers, however on others,” Fenstermacher stated.
Ocean Metropolis resident Steven Lesser examine Fenstermacher’s experience from the Mayor’s Message on the Ocean Metropolis web site.
“I couldn’t miss watching this inspirational story unfold,” Lesser stated.
Lesser watched as now, 4 years later, Fenstermacher accomplished his coast-to-coast bicycle journey in a present of resilience and braveness.
“He’s the final word hero and having him end in Ocean Metropolis is a testomony to what we stand for right here,” Barr stated. “His intestinal fortitude is a message of hope to everybody.”
On the unique journey, Fenstermacher raised $10,000 for FPS. The final 1,200 miles he rode to lift cash for FPS as nicely. FPS allows most cancers sufferers and their family members to strengthen, deepen and unify their relationships by creating unforgettable and lasting respite experiences.
Eligible sufferers, together with their caregivers, obtain a one-week, expense-paid respite trip to pick out areas alongside the East Coast and within the Caribbean. For Pete’s Sake owns two respite houses close to Orlando, Fla., and depends on donated trip houses to complement further stays. For extra data, go to https://takeabreakfromcancer.org.
From Abington Pa., Joannie Harkinson, Jenna Patrick and Debbie Melcher Hinks, had been spending the day in a celebration of life for Joannie’s husband, who handed away from most cancers 5 months in the past.
When listening to about Fenstermacher’s arrival and that his experience was to lift cash for FPS, Harkinson shared that she knew all too nicely the advantages of the inspiration via private expertise.
Alisa Tammara, neighborhood occasions coordinator at FPS, initially met Fenstermacher 4 years in the past when he contacted them to do a fundraising occasion. The occasion was his coast-to-coast biking experience.
“Since I first met Jared, he has all the time been an inspiration. He is stuffed with willpower and true grit,” stated Tammara. “He’s a person of hope. The challenges he has encountered present hope for our most cancers sufferers.”
Saturday was the primary time Tammara had seen Fenstermacher since he left the rehabilitation facility.
Satirically, Harkinson and Tammara linked via a mutual pal.
“To be right here at the moment to rejoice my husband after which to fulfill Alyssa – nicely, that’s what we are saying, all meant to be,” Harkinson stated.
There wasn’t one one that witnessed Fenstermacher’s remaining experience into Ocean Metropolis that didn’t use the phrases hero, inspirational or miraculous to explain him.
“In a world so divided, that is a kind of inspiring moments that all of us want,” stated Marci Schankweiler, CEO and founding father of For Pete’s Sake.
“Jared brings hope to everybody who faces challenges,” Schankweiler added.
With Jared’s journey coming to an finish, nobody was extra relieved to see him cross the end line than his mother and father, Lynn and Bob Fenstermacher.
“I already acquired that one name. I didn’t want one other,” Lynn stated, referring to her son’s accident in Iowa. “I’m relieved this present day is lastly right here.”
As her son arrived on the Welcome Heart, Lynn was lastly capable of take that a lot wanted sigh of aid.
Saturday was the second and remaining day for closure for each Jared and his mother and father.
“Jared did meet with the driving force of the truck that hit him in Hilton, Iowa,” Lynn stated. “After the assembly, discovering the closure he wanted, he pulled off to the aspect of the highway as he was overcome with a flood of emotion.”
She continued by saying that an officer noticed the car on the aspect of the highway and stopped to see if he wanted assist.
Jared advised the officer that he simply forgave the person who hit him in 2016.
The officer replied, “And I used to be the officer on the scene that night time.”
“That was an indication from God that Jared did the fitting factor by forgiving the driving force,” Lynn stated as tears started to kind in her eyes.