Reno resident Bill Winchester receives Empowerment Grant from High Fives Foundation towards recovery from life-altering injury

$6,786 Empowerment Grant to provide Winchester with rehabilitative sessions of massage, acupuncture, personal training, and adaptive equipment


The High Fives Foundation is awarding 38-year-old Bill Winchester a board-approved Empowerment Grant to help aid in his recovery from a life-altering injury he sustained while road biking near the Mount Rose Highway in Nevada. While descending the downhill grade, Winchester’s bike struck an illegally parked landscape trailer. The impact resulted in burst fractures at the T4/T5 vertebrae with a slight offset/dislocation at C6/C7, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down with use of his arms and hands.


The April Empowerment Grant will provide Winchester with massage therapy, acupuncture, and personal training at the CR Johnson Healing Center in Truckee, Calif. It will also provide him with modifications to his wheelchair including a seat cushion and hand rims. His house and car are being upgraded with adaptive modifications that will allow him to live independently.


Winchester’s recovery goals include making his day-to-day life easier to lessen the burden for his incredibly supportive wife. Eventually, he would like to become a motivational speaker to improve the lives of others who have suffered spinal cord injuries.


Since the High Fives Foundation’s January 2009 inception, the Empowerment program service has assisted 79 athletes from 20 states in nine respective funding categories which include: living expenses, insurance, travel, health, healing network, adaptive equipment, winter equipment, programs and “stoke” (positive energy, outlook and attitude). In 2015, the High Fives Foundation set a budget of disbursing $266,000 via board-approved grants through the Empowerment Fund. Since January 2015, 18 High Fives Athletes and two organizations have been awarded 22 board-approved grants totaling  $146,793.

In the month of April the High Fives Foundation disbursed $58,361 in board-approved grants — the most in grant funding in a single month in it’s history.

April Empowerment Athletes:
Jim Harris from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Barclay Talbot from Cazenovia, NY.
Jason Abraham from Tahoe City, Calif.
Lindsay Runkel from Westport, Conn.
Bill Winchester from Reno, Nev.
Megan Wemmer from Boulder, Colo.

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