Lindsey Runkel receives grant funding from Tahoe-based High Fives Foundation following spinal cord injury in mountain-biking accident    

The 25-year-old mountain-biker will receive vital recovery services through board-approved Empowerment Grant

#HighFivesAthlete Lindsey Runkel
#HighFivesAthlete Lindsey Runkel

High Fives Foundation is awarding Lindsey Runkel an Empowerment Grant of $960 going towards adaptive skiing with Vermont Adaptive and Achieve Tahoe.

Runkel fractured her T5/6 vertebrae in a mountain-biking accident causing paralysis from the waist down. She was attempting a 15-foot drop on her downhill bike when the accident occurred. Lindsey landed slightly forward on her bike and hit a rut in the dirt causing her to be thrown over the bars. Runkel’s spinal cord was crushed but not severed.

“High Fives does amazing work with winter mountain athletes and I’m hoping that with their help, I can get back out on the snow,” said Runkel.

Runkel, a huge mountain biker prior to her injury, has recently rediscovered her love for the trails in an adaptive fashion. She is beyond excited to share that love with her friends and the mountain bike community. “Lindsey is a model High Fives Athlete,” said Roy Tuscany High Fives Foundation Executive Director. “She’s positive, she’s highly motivated, and we’re proud to support her in all of her goals.”

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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