Chris Murphy, Published November 21 2013
Force goalie Jensen to make a donation to men’s health programs for every win this month
Fargo Force goalie Brendan Jensen will never forget the trip to a cancer ward of a children’s hospital in Vancouver his hockey team took when he was 17 years old.
Jensen went room to room and saw kids ages 5 to 10 dealing with things no child in that age range should even know about.
“We went to like 17 different rooms and all these children had different things,” Jensen said. “It’s a huge hospital and it’s just full of kids. It’s mind-boggling to think what can happen and how bad it is for some people. I knew then that I wanted to help the cause.”
Jensen turned to his facial hair this year to give back. He’s growing a goatee in November and taking donations at us.movember.com for the new fuzzy friend on his face. Considering before practice Wednesday Jensen was sporting a big red mark right outside the lines of his goatee, perhaps it’s better he doesn’t shave.
“This thing hasn’t stopped bleeding,” Jensen said, clutching his face.
Just to make things even, Jensen is also donating $20 for every Force win in November and $30 if the Force shut out a United States Hockey League opponent.
“Two years ago my team did it as a team, but a lot of guys on this team can’t grow facial hair, so I decided to do it myself,” Jensen said. “I thought that this was my own way to donate to cancer because I didn’t have another way.”
His donations will go to men’s health programs that combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.
Jensen even got a few neighbors to agree to pay $20 for every Force win and $30 for every shutout. Along with those donations, which will be added up after the Force finish November, Jensen has also raised $180 on the website.
None of it is surprising to Force coach John Marks.
“That’s the kind of person that he is,” Marks said. “It’s great. Anytime somebody undertakes something that’s beneficial to others it speaks highly of the individual.”
Wins aren’t coming easy to the Force, regardless of Jensen’s intentions. They are 4-9-2 overall, 1-7-2 in their last 10 and are 1-2-2 in November.
“So far we haven’t cost him a lot of money,” Marks said. “He’s really a good person and obviously a very thoughtful individual. I know anytime that he’s been asked to do something he’s never said no. It doesn’t surprise me because he’s such a fine young man.”
Jensen has been surprised by the response.
“To go around the neighborhood and ask people, the response was just warm-hearted,” Jensen said. “I got a $100 anonymous donation three weeks ago and I was just shocked. I’m just trying to do something good for the community and for anyone that has cancer.”
Jensen works at Express in the West Acres Mall and earned some money over the summer helping with West Fargo soccer. When the Force win, Jensen does not see it as him losing that money he has earned.
“It’s an extra incentive to win because my money goes to a good cause,” Jensen said. “I just try to do stuff to help out any way I can.”
The Force have three more games in November, including one tonight at 7:05 p.m. against Omaha at Scheels Arena.
To donate to Jensen’s cause go to us.movember.com and either donate at the homepage or search “Brendan Jensen” and donate directly to him.
Readers can reach Forum reporter
Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548