21-year-old San Ramon snowboarder aided by Tahoe-based High Fives Foundation towards spinal cord injury recovery

Empowerment Grant awarded for personal training and acupuncture sessions

(Truckee, California. June 15, 2016) —  Ran Tao, 21, was snowboarding at Northstar Resort near Truckee, California in January this year when he jumped off a terrain park feature and landed on his back, causing an injury to his C6 vertebrae. Tao is paralyzed from the chest down.

After surgeries at Renown Medical Center in Reno, Nevada, Tao is back at his home in San Ramon, California. He is working on mobility and independence.

In May 2016, Tao received an Empowerment Grant from the High Fives Foundation for sessions of acupuncture and personal training at SCI Fit in Pleasanton, California.


“I want to gain independence in everyday living,” Tao said,  “from my morning/night routine to some basic house chores.”

Independence comes in the form of transferring on his own between his wheelchair and the car, or his own bed. It also means showering without help and eventually driving a vehicle with hand controls.

“Ran is very motivated, and he has a laundry list of goals,” said Roy Tuscany,Executive Director of the High Fives Foundation.  “He will put this setback behind him before he knows it. We’re thrilled to help athletes like Ran who are so proactive about their recovery.”

In the month of May alone, the High Fives Foundation granted $37,186 to 11 High Fives Athletes.

Learn more about High Fives May Empowerment Grants

Western Region HERE

Central Region HERE

Eastern Region HERE

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