#HelmetsAreCool is the third installment of five for the High Fives Foundation B.A.S.I.C.S. (Being. Aware. Safe. In. Critical. Situations.) Program Service. The previous two B.A.S.I.C.S. documentaries inspired critical thinking regarding five critical mistakes that winter action sports athletes have made before suffering a life-altering injury; and backcountry safety with a concentration on avalanche awareness. Watch and share the documentary at (https://vimeo.com/77008826)
#HelmetsAreCool focuses on helmet usage and safety while highlighting High Fives Athlete Danny Toumarkine’s recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury he suffered while snowboarding without a helmet along with three other featured athletes (Michael Schwarz, Elia Chou and Darian Boyle).
Danny loves all things outdoors and takes pride in being able to see personal progression in anything. On January 3rd, 2011 he suffered a traumatic brain injury. Four brain surgeries and a medically induced coma forced Danny to be hospitalized for five weeks. Once he was released from the hospital, he switched to recovery mode. Now, it is non-stop physical therapy and training that allows for Danny to return to the sport of snowboarding and take on new challenges.
In March 2009, while attending his Senior year at University of Vermont, Michael suffered a traumatic brain injury while competing in a quarter pipe championship. Michael was in a coma for many weeks, and spent the next year in a rehab hospital recovering in the gym, the pool and the recumbent bike. Michael has gained back most of his living skills, and the High Fives Foundation’s Winter Empowerment Fund has purchased him Bioness L300 Foot Drop Systems to help him with his walking. He now enjoys designing his custom “super soft chillin’ socks” via his company El Schwarez Designs.
While skiing a line at Squaw Valley in 2003 Darian Boyle crashed and fractured her skull, as well as C1 C2 C4, C5 and C6 vertebrae nearly paralyzing her. The C2 blocked her artery and left her on the verge of suffering a stroke. Considered a pioneer in women’s skiing, Darian recovered well and continued a successful career in media and action sports. She now works as a TV host and volunteers with Operation Beachhead (a non-profit organization based at the Jersey Shore providing adventurous, yet safe, all-season sports for veterans, active duty troops, and individuals with disabilities).
Three years ago Elia Chou was skiing with her team at Alpine Meadows when she crashed and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). She was life-flighted to the ICU at a Reno, NV hospital. Elia is still skiing and gives full credit to her helmet saving her life!