The High Fives Foundation is awarding 26-year-old LeeAnn Ketcham an Empowerment Grant of $3,300 to aid in her recovery from a life-altering injury sustained while snowboarding in 2010. The Empowerment Grant will allow Ketcham to receive vital personal training sessions at a specialized facility in Southern, N.H.

Ketcham was snowboarding at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, N.H. with friends when she mistakenly hit a cliff along side the trail. Out of control in the air, Ketcham landed on her back and neck. Upon impact she immediately discovered that she had lost the motor function in her legs.

Ketcham was life-flighted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Centerwhere she underwent emergency spinal surgery. When she awoke, she was told she had suffered an incomplete SCI at the T11 level.


Following in-patient rehabilitation, Ketcham reached out to the High Fives Foundation for extended services at Project Walk in Stratham, N.H. not covered by insurance. A May 2016 High Fives grant helped her start walking with a walker, and the April 2017 board-approved grant hopes to help her progress past a walker.

“This grant will help me fulfill my goal of walking again following my spinal cord injury. I go to the gym five to seven days a week on my own,” said Ketcham. “Extended funds to be used toward sessions at Project Walk have helped to target specific muscle groups. The exact muscles that will help me throw away assisted devices.”

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).

Through April 2017, the High Fives Foundation has disbursed $174,094.65 in board-approved grants to 53 athletes in 15 states

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