Empowerment Grant from Truckee-based High Fives Foundation will help San Bruno resident Kevin Cheung in the recovery process from a life-altering injury

Cheung will receive a $2,654 Empowerment Grant for personal training sessions at SCI-Fit in Pleasanton, Calif.

#Highfivesathlete Kevin Cheung (Photo Credit: Kevin Cheung's Facebook)
#Highfivesathlete Kevin Cheung (Photo Credit: Kevin Cheung’s Facebook)

The High Fives Foundation is awarding 24-year-old Kevin Cheung of San Bruno, Calif. a Board-approved Empowerment Grant to help aid in his recovery from a life-altering injury sustained at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, Calif earlier this year.

On March 7, 2015, Cheung over-rotated a backflip while overshooting a jump at Squaw’s Gold Coast Terrain Park. Cheung landed face first on the bottom of the landing, incurring burst fractures at C1, C5, T4, T5, T6 and a torn transverse ligament next to c1. Cheung conducted his outpatient rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Denver, Colo. before returning back to the Bay Area where he grew up.

This Septemnber Board-approved Empowerment Grant will provide Cheung with 20 sessions of specialized personal training at SCI-Fit in Pleasanton, Calif. SCI-FIT (Spinal Cord Injury Functional Integrated Therapy) specializes in nontraditional spinal cord injury rehabilitation. The grant will also cover a small remaining medical bill.

#HighFivesAthlete Kevin Cheung at Craig Hospital
#HighFivesAthlete Kevin Cheung at Craig Hospital

“He is making a great recovery,” said Roy Tuscany, High Fives Foundation Executive Director. “He sustained a devastating injury, and I view his recovery as a true miracle.”

Since the High Fives Foundation’s January 2009 inception, the Empowerment Program Service has assisted 89 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, the Foundation has disbursed approximately $310,000 to 30 athletes, three organizations and three High Fives Foundation-hosted adaptive sports camps.

In the month of September the High Fives Foundation disbursed $24,261 in Board-approved grants to eight High Fives Athletes.

September Empowerment Athletes:  

Lindsay Runkel from Westport, Conn.
Keith Gabel from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Kevin Cheung from San Bruno, Calif.
Nick Fairall from Andover, NH.
Sally Franklin from Denver, Colo.
Andrew Kurka from Homer, Alaska.
Landon McGauley from Quesnel, BC.
Brandon Pitzer from Portland, OR.
About the High Fives Non-Profit Foundation: High Fives Foundation is a Tahoe-based, national 501.c.3 non-profit organization supporting the dreams of mountain action sports athletes by raising injury prevention awareness while providing resources and inspiration to those who suffer life-altering injuries. Formed as a way to “pay-it-forward” by the founder from his own recovery to help injured athletes, the Foundation has helped 89 athletes to date since its inception in 2009, more information visitwww.highfivesfoundation.org.

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