Community Outreach

TITAN of the Community's legacy lives on through The Send It Foundation

Nissan has posthumously named Jamie Schou a TITAN of the Community.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In 2012, 33-year old Jamie Schou was living in Truckee, California, spending time outdoors, working as a realtor, and driving around in his beloved 2006 Nissan Titan. To the casual observer, he was the picture of health.

That March he found a lump in his back. It was diagnosed as synovial sarcoma, a cancer that primarily affects young adults near their joints. It's rare – each year one to three people per 1 million are diagnosed.

The 6'8" former collegiate rower was not about to let cancer stop him from the things he loved the most.

Schou grew up three hours southwest of Truckee in Mill Valley, California, the oldest of four siblings. He loved exploring the nearby mountains with his three younger sisters – Katie, Caroline, and Margot. After graduating, he moved back to his home state, and soon purchased a 2006 Nissan Titan.

Jamie SchouJamie Schou with sisters (from left to right) Margot, Katie and Caroline.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

"I have so many memories of Jamie showing up with this truck, piling in a bunch of our friends and heading to the hill or the trail," said his sister Katie Schou. "Every time I or anyone saw this truck roll up, you knew – Jamie's here! And it'd make you so excited."

Schou and his truck were there during the less enjoyable parts of life too.

"Any time anybody needed help with a move – help with anything – Jamie would show up with this truck," Katie reminisced. "He was always there to help at the drop of a hat. Jamie and his truck were there not only for adventures, but life changes. The truck was always part of it."

2006 Nissan Titan Jamie SchouJamie's 2006 Nissan Titan has over 200,000 miles on it.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

This was the case for Schou himself. After his diagnosis, Schou began treatment at Stanford University Medical Center. He did not allow cancer to slow him down – he faced the disease head-on and continued his outdoor pursuits. Driving his trusty Titan around the state, Schou climbed Half Dome in Yosemite, went skydiving, and skied Mt. Lassen.

Despite his supportive family and friends, Schou began feeling isolated, Katie explained. Most other young adults were figuring out careers and relationships, not fighting cancer.

Schou channeled his desire for a like-minded community and his love of the outdoors into creating a clothing brand, Send It, and a nonprofit, The Send It Foundation. A portion of the proceeds from the clothing brand benefit the foundation. The clothing brand and foundation both embody Schou's desire to live life full throttle.

The Send It FoundationCaroline Schou (front) grabs a photo with the Send It Surf & Ride group on the final night of the program.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The foundation allows young adult cancer fighters and survivors (ages 21-40) to experience deep friendships and fun outdoor adventures away from the daily grind of life with cancer. Through the foundation, young adult cancer fighters and survivors enjoy the great outdoors through a sport such as skiing or surfing and bond with others who have gone through similar experiences. To this day, Schou's Titan is used to help transport participants and gear on these trips. Schou's three sisters are all involved with the foundation.

May 2019 Send It Surf & Ride participant Alexandra Fine, who survived Hodgkin's lymphoma, says, "Nothing you say here surprises anybody. You can just be open and honest and be yourself, and I think that's important for everybody."

Tragically, Jamie passed away, at age 35, in July 2014. The Schou family kept Jamie's Titan and continued using it for Send It trips, but by summer 2018, the 12-year-old truck needed expensive repairs. The family had an emotional decision to make. One of their last tangible attachments to their son and brother needed to be either sold or fixed.

In the midst of making their decision, in September 2018, Katie met employees from Nissan North America at an outdoor lifestyle trade show. Katie mentioned the story of her brother and the "Send It Titan" to the Nissan team.


Katie Schou 2006 Nissan Titan Send It FoundationKatie Schou still uses Jamie's Titan for foundation business.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

That month, Nissan had announced its Calling All Titans campaign, which "celebrate[s] people using their trucks to help those around them". Jamie's mission fit the spirit of the campaign, and as a way to honor the legacy of this titan of his community, Nissan elected to assist the Schou family in keeping Jamie's Titan road-worthy, ensuring Jamie's legacy and mission are able to continue many more years and miles.

The Send It Foundation has served 150 cancer survivors and completed 31 programs in the last four years. Schou himself summed it up best in a journal entry written before his passing:

"Send It was formed by my story and my joys, but I hope the future is written by all that choose to wear it, share it, and find experiences from it. The terrors of this diseases have provided me with the wonderful opportunity and desire to create something greater that I know will benefit so many! I leave it in your hands."

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The Sakura is Nissan's newest EV.

Nissan

It's no secret that the Japanese get all manner of quirky, cool cars that we don't see here in the States. Sure, there's the Nissan Skyline and Mitsubishi Delica van, but tiny vehicles like kei cars and "minivehicles" are popular imports for Americans looking to diversify their drives. Pint-sized kei cars are ripe for electrification, and Nissan did just that with its new Sakura EV, which comes almost a year after the automaker announced it was working with Mitsubishi to develop tiny electric models. It's one of dozens of new EVs slated to come from the Mitsubishi-Nissan-Renaul Alliance this decade.

Though tiny, the Sakura offers a decent top speed of 80 mph, and its range of around 112 miles could make it an ideal urban runabout for many. That said, there's little chance the car will come to the United States. Japan's minivehicles and kei cars are far smaller than anything currently on sale here. For example, the Sakura's 133.6-inch length makes it almost 18 inches shorter than a Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback, a car that Americans would consider minuscule.

Nissan SakuraThe Sakura borrows features from the Nissan Leaf, including its battery.Nissan

Nissan borrowed the Sakura's 20-kWh battery from the Leaf and says it can be used to provide power for external devices or even power a home for up to a day. The car comes with three driving modes to change the behavior of things like regenerative braking and throttle response, and Nissan says it took further guidance from the Leaf to give the Sakura the quietest cabin in its class.

The Sakura's upright shape likely helps with headroom, but it certainly doesn't increase cargo space, as Nissan claims just 107 liters (4 cubic feet) of room. That said, the car features small-item storage spaces for gear like a smartphone or wallet. Buyers can opt for black, beige, or blue-grey interior colors, and an upgrade package is available that brings a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

There are a surprising number of features packed into the minute Nissan's cabin. A 7-inch digital gauge cluster comes standard, and a 9-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard. Nissan says the car's displays are oriented to reduce distraction and keep the driver's eyes on the road, and ProPilot safety systems are standard, including a new parking assist feature. ProPilot is a stepping stone toward Nissan's goal of debuting autonomous driving tech by 2030.

Nissan SakuraThe Sakura isn't destined for the U.S. - yet, anyway. Nissan

The Sakura goes on sale in Japan this summer. It's priced at 1.78 million yen, or around $14,000. The car will be available for purchase online, and Nissan says it will offer video chats and other resources to help buyers with the process. Buyers will be able to opt for a full in-person buying experience, a completely virtual experience, or anything in between.

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The new Z starts at under $40,000.

Nissan

The new Nissan Z is finally here, and the 400-horsepower sports car is hitting the market with a reasonable price. The car starts at just $39,990 before a $1,025 destination charge. That's significantly cheaper than the least expensive Toyota Supra for a car with impressive specs and great style.

2023 Nissan ZThe Z gets a 400-horsepower V6 from Infiniti.Nissan

The 2023 Z comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 400 horsepower. It's paired with either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. That's the enthusiast's dream setup, and it's one of few cars available in the U.S. with a manual gearbox. The body is stiffer and features more reinforcements from prior cars, and the steering system now features electric assistance instead of hydraulics. 18-inch wheels are standard and 19-inchers are available.

When it announced the car, Nissan made a point to talk about its retro-inspired styling and classic proportions. The coupe features a sweeping roofline, a distinct front fascia, and is unmistakeably a Z car, through and through. Inside, the car features a three anlog gauges for a classic look, 12.3-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 9-inch touchscreen display. The cabin looks upscale and tech-forward, with deep bucket seats.

2023 Nissan ZThe 2023 Z lands this summer. Nissan

Nissan says the new Z will go on sale in summer 2022. Pricing starts at $39,990 for the base Sport trim, $49,990 for the mid-range Performance trim, and $52,990 for the limited-edition range-topping Proto Spec trim.

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