Georgiana Burnside receives grant funding from Tahoe-based High Fives Foundation following spinal cord injury while skiing Aspen Snowmass

The 17-year-old skier will receive a board Empowerment Grant to fund recovery 

#HighFivesAthlete Georgiana Burnside

The High Fives Foundation is awarding Georgiana Burnside a board-approved Empowerment Grant of $2,660 to aid in her recovery from a life-altering injury sustained during a ski accident.

While skiing a double black diamond at Aspen Snowmass last Spring, Burnside hit a rogue patch of ice sending her off a large drop on the side of the trail. After dropping 50 feet or so, she landed on her back and slid to a stop. That is where she discovered she couldn’t move her legs. Burnside was flown directly to Craig Hospital where she underwent surgery to repair her spine. Following surgery, she was told that she had suffered a T12/L1 spinal cord injury.

“It has been a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with Georgina,” said Roy Tuscany, High Fives Foundation Executive Director. “Georgina and other High Fives Athletes have proven to themselves that the time and effort put in pays off in their road to recovery.”

Burnside’s goal is to become independent again, and live the life of a typical High School senior. “My recovery goal is to one day get back on the snow and be able to ski independently again,” said Burnside. “I hope to make as much progress as possible, but I also think it’s important to find joy in the journey.”

The High Fives Foundation supports injured mountain sports athletes through grant funding to be used towards reaching their recovery goals. Since the High Fives Foundation’s January 2009 inception, the Empowerment program service has assisted 104 athletes from 22 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 Quarter 1 of 2016 the High Fives Foundation disbursed $91,509 in board-approved grants to 19 athletes in 9 states.


About the High Fives Foundation: The High Fives Foundation is a Tahoe-based, national 501.c.3 non-profit organization. The High Fives Foundation supports 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 104 athletes to date since its inception in 2009. For more information visit www.highfivesfoundation.org

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