|An Open Letter from James Marshall|
February 9, 2016
For immediate release:
An open letter to everyone thanking you in the efforts of James Marshall to obtain an accessible van as well as supporting my foundation, Jamesmarshallproject, Inc.,
Before I begin, I just wanted to say a few things: I've never had an accessible van, house, bathroom, closet, etc. never anything that made it easier to get from point A to B. Using the restroom consisted of someone carrying me through the bathroom doorway to the toilet, then to the shower & back to my regular mattress... I then got dressed and up in my chair. Which I liked the regular stuff then but no one’s back is going to last & even if it were just one more way to gain more accessibility. We needed to remodel and really make something different. Maybe, a split sided bed (one side where the head raised, feet raised, his/hers, etc. but it would’ve made things a lot easier). Things have never been a cake walk up to this point, though it’s in my nature to do that. With my mom primarily taking care of me then (that's a LOT on one person) so they should've named my road, “Bumpy.” And after 10 years later here's a “short thank you” letter for our entire industry and motocross fans to read from James Marshall, personally.
It took me a while to write this & really think it out. Bare with me: I’d first like to begin by letting you all know the amount of effort, time and heart I have poured into this to see it come to life; tremendous amounts. I am looking around and see no accessibility and I needed to begin with a van. Though I had no idea how it’d work. It has truly been nothing but blood, sweat and tears poured into this as I strategically planned on how I would do my gofundme account and have some of our more highly noticeable/respectable names to jump on board, as I really, honestly felt like no one believed in me anymore. But I needed help in social media's because that's the way of the world today. After the first post from TC41, the numbers were coming up & up so rapidly, I was on an hourly alert to update me on my GoFundMe acct. Some blessing to have at this point in life! Trey Canard, Grant Langston & all my family, friends, fans & supporters all got on board before I began this journey of obtaining a van to basically get a “get out of hell state.” I remember spending countless hours on this. One time, I was doing thank you letters as I was laying in the hospital with 3 blood clots, pneumonia & another urinary tract infection. And that was just my second blood clot visit... I would call Canard & we'd talk Moto and then van stuff and remember saying to him I could probably get a used one for like $20K, even though it had been used and most likely worn out a bit (with the high mileage & regular wear and tear, I’m sure), but it'd get the job complete.
My mind started getting creative and that’s when I started thinking… what if we pieced this thing out through government assistance after I just got a regular, plain van? We were getting closer towards 15K at this point and so I called Bobby Ragean at Star Chevrolet (Honestly, just exploring options) to see what I could get quote on a plain van to remodel it out for accessibility. He reminded the high cost of it and asked me to call back after Anaheim 1. Not really sure what exactly he had on his mind. So I’d wait & call back after A1 SX. Who knew what was going through Bobby’s mind…
I called back Monday morning after A1 and that's when Bobby gave me the best news any Quad in my position could hear. Bobby said “Bobby Ragean’s Star Racing Yamaha, Coy Gibbs & Thomas @ n-Fab” filled me in that they as a group decided they'd all pitch in and get me a 2010 Honda Odyssey. As long as all the measurements would fit, we were set to have a van delivered in 1 week! Bobby knew how much an accessible vehicle cost from working with Donovan Mitchell (another quadriplegic) when he managed the Star Racing team effort years ago. With the low amount of money, I had to spend, I'd still be struggling to get this thing up & running then thinking of a compensation plan to pay it off. I simply just wanted to take the first step, and definitely knew I couldn’t see the whole stair case. Things from better to worse; zero to hero, in my eyes as I got this call Monday morning. It’s never felt so good to hear Bobby voice! On a professional level.
I'm not sure why Bobby did all this? If it was my training efforts back at MTF, my "do whatever it takes attitude" that Bobby remembers, either way he went way, far and above far and beyond for an individual who was screaming for help. Same goes for JGR & n-Fab, honestly. I'm very proud to have a person like Bobby Ragean at Star Racing Yamaha along with JGR & n-Fab who’d go so far above and beyond for me in this level of category. I cannot thank them each individually, Thomas Fichter & Coy Gibbs enough for all the hard work, time & their effort throughout such a short, couple of grueling weeks to all come together and make one more person’s life does a complete 180 degree turn! I’m on cloud 9! I am ready to take my own foundation, the Jamesmarshallproject, Inc. and build it to be where we can do the same for some other young man or woman in the near future! As well as my personal life, I’ve only begun on there too. I'm forever grateful Bobby, Coy & Tom. Thank you all gentlemen! Thank You Guys, from the bottom of my heart. And maybe one day, just maybe, I’ll be able to return the favor.
www.gofundme.com/rebirthofJMP is the link where I’m still raising money for other funds like gas, insurance,
etc. and all the other things that go with owning a vehicle. Thank you ALL for everything especially the Star Racing, JGR & n-Fab Efforts! Thank you to those who’ve donated and to those wondering what I’m doing: starting over, fresh vehicle, home, and every other aspect in life. I’m a quadriplegic looking for a little help to get back up on my wheels to get better quality of life & give back to tomorrow’s society through motivational/safety speeches.
- James Marshall – Jamesmarshallproject, Inc.