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Jehnke suffers fall, while raising money, awareness for those with disabilities for Aptiv in La Crosse, cross-country trek ends



FILE - Jay Jehnke stands behind the Aptiv SUV. The 67-year-old has spent three decades raising money and awareness for those with disabilities, through Aptiv in La Crosse.

For decades, Jay Jehnke has been an advocate for people with disabilities.

Two weeks ago, the 67-year-old set off to complete a cross-country bicycle journey to raise money for Aptiv, a La Crosse group that helps those with disabilities.

While this has been a passion for Jehnke for years, it actually became more personal not long ago, when he found out his grandson was born with a rare genetic disease and, too, would be disabled.

Jehnke’s goal on this month-long bicycle journey from La Crosse to Portland, Maine, was to raise $100,000. He was already nearing $75,000.

Unfortunately, though, Jehnke won’t be able to complete his trek, suffering a bad fall.

Just a few days ago, Jehnke blacked out while riding through a neighborhood in Auburn, New York, and ended up suffering several fractures to his clavicle.

A support vehicle was right behind him and able to get him medical attention but, of course, the ride won’t continue — short by 480 miles.

This would have been the second half of his trek across the US raising money for those with disabilities. In 2017, Jehnke biked from Seattle to La Crosse completing the first half of this journey.

He’s also done a number of other feats to raise awareness, including trekking the Ice Age Trail and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

To donate go to Aptiv.org/jaysride.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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