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 Schou Jamie 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 Schou Jamie'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 Foundation Caroline 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 Foundation Katie 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 2022 Frontier gets a brand-new face and updated tech.

Nissan

After 16 years on sale in its current form, the Nissan Frontier is a familiar face on our roads. The truck, which is technically old enough to get a driver's license and drive itself, is being totally overhauled for 2022, and the new look is a big departure from the ute we've seen for so many years. Nissan announced that production has started, so we don't have much longer to wait to see it in action for ourselves.

The new truck's 3.8-liter V6 has already been in action powering the 2021 Frontier. It produces a class-leading 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, and sends its power to either the rear or all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission.


2022 Nissan Frontier Production is underway in Mississippi.Nissan


This is the first new Frontier we've seen in over a decade, so the upgrade in technology is steep over the previous truck. The 2022 Frontier can be optioned with a surround-view camera system with off-road mode that automatically displays terrain around the truck when it's shifted into 4LO. The system displays guidelines and can help the driver navigate tough obstacles on the trail. A host of safety features will be available that includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warnings, high beam assist, and more.

Other than its age, there was nothing particularly wrong with the previous Frontier's interior, but the new truck looks to be considerably more upscale and modern. Various trims come with interesting contrasting color schemes and the truck gets Nissan's excellent Zero Gravity seats as standard. New hydraulic cab mounts should help quell vibrations inside, and traditional hydraulic power steering will provide excellent steering feel and feedback.

Nissan is building the new frontier in its Canton, MS facility, while the truck's engine is being built at the automaker's powertrain plant in Tennessee. We'll start seeing the new model on dealers' lots sometime in late summer 2021, and you can find a first drive review of the truck right here in a few weeks.


2022 Nissan Frontier The new trucks will arrive on dealers' lots later this summer.Nissan

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The Nissan Pathfinder is just at home on the trial as it is on the road.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". The message is about making choices and, how the road taken made all the difference. Often in life and on the road, we have to make one choice. Take one road. No turning back. I thought of this poem on my recent test drive in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in the hinterlands of Montana, when I could take two different roads—paved and dirt—and that made all the difference!

Nissan has redesigned and retooled its fifth-generation Pathfinder instilling greater latitude for buyers who want to travel both types of roads and expand their adventure footprint. After seven decades of off-road development, 35 years in the business of selling Pathfinders, and with more than 1.8 million sold in the U.S., this Japanese automaker has moved the needle with a ground-up revision of the previous-gen model.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable off-roader.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The full-sized sport utility is available in four trims (S, SV, SL and Platinum) and two- and four-wheel drive versions; Nissan expects that nearly 60 percent of buyers will choose four-wheel drive. The Pathfinder is in a segment that has grown larger each year as more families want a vehicle for around-town, school and playdate runs and for weekend getaways with traction technology that allows travel in the backcountry and good towing capability. Direct competitors are the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Ford Explorer.

A day-long drive of approximately 150 miles on tarmac and over a variety of dirt roads and tracks provided the opportunity to assess the Pathfinder's updates. A late-spring snowstorm added slickness to all the road surfaces in the region and allowed the Pathfinder to show off its traction capabilities at both slow and higher speeds and with lane change and emergency-braking maneuvers, when towing. I concentrated my evaluation on the augmented hardware and software designed to enhance the crossover's capabilities for backcountry travel and towing.

What I found most notable over every road surface was the comfortable ride and responsive handling that come from a collection of upgrades—and, in particular, as a result of the following: the gearing on the new nine-speed transmission, with paddle shifters for personal and more precise shifting for sport driving and slowing over rough terrain; the new terrain mode system that's engineered for different driving conditions; the four-wheel drive system that moves torque more quickly to avoid wheel slip; the improved suspension system; and new tires with a larger contact patch and more aggressive tread pattern, among other changes.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Pathfinder provided sure-footed motoring and comfort over uneven surfaces. Its 7.1 inches of ground clearance easily maneuvered over the small obstacles on the trail and hill descent control took the reigns without hesitation for steeper and longer downhills on traction-compromised surfaces.

I was also impressed with the Pathfinder's towing competence and appreciated the standard trailer sway control onboard all trims. It offered notably strong, mannered acceleration from a standing start and excellent straight-line braking without porpoising for either exercise.

The new 2022 Pathfinder brings off-road and towing attributes that are important to families who are seeking to spend time in the backcountry for days trips and longer and for overlanding in terrain that doesn't require a true off-road vehicle with a low range. It's will appeal to buyers who want don't want to have to choose only one road.

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