INJURED BAY AREA ATHLETE RECEIVES CONTINUED SUPPORT FROM TAHOE-BASED NON-PROFIT, THE HIGH FIVES FOUNDATION
The High Fives Foundation is awarding 31-year-old Alina Garbuzov an Empowerment Grant of $5,099.00 to aid in her recovery from a life-altering injury sustained while rock climbing in Yosemite National Park, Calif. in 2015. The Empowerment Grant will allow Garbuzov private Pilates sessions along with a wheelchair freewheel attachment.
Garbuzov was a seasoned rock climber with 10 years of experience. Garbuzov was climbing in Yosemite National Park with some friends when she slipped. Her partner, a new climber, wasn’t able to stop her fall. Garbuzov fell sixty feet before the rope stopped her. The impact of the fall fractured her L1 vertebra, thumb, scapula, ribs and collapsed one of her lungs.
Following a lengthy extraction, Garbuzov arrived at Stanford Hospital, where she had emergency spinal surgery. She woke up paralyzed from the waist down.
Hearing about the organization through a friend, Garbuzov reached out to the High Fives Foundation, who in May 2016 covered a wet suit and personal training so that she could accomplish the goal of swimming two miles across Donner Lake in Truckee, Calif. Many of Garbuzov’s recovery goals revolve around recreation.
The April 2017 board-approved grant will cover continued personal training, along with a wheelchair freewheel attachment so that she can get to places where a standard wheelchair doesn’t operate as well.
The High Fives Foundation supports injured mountain action sports athletes through grant funding to be used towards reaching their recovery goals. Since the Foundation’s January 2009 inception, the Empowerment program service has assisted 156 athletes from 31 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).