Meet #HighFivesAthlete Ryan McLaren (ATHLETE #156) from Burlington, VT

In March 2018, the High Fives Foundation disbursed $31,478.52 to 10 Athlete’s across North America.

In March, 2018 Ryan applied and received a grant for PT sessions at Journey Forward and personal training sessions at Body Resolution, both in the Boston Area.

Ryan was skiing a bluebird day at Mad River Glen on St. Patrick’s Day following an amazing snow storm in Vermont. Unfortunately, the mountain was not forgiving that day, and Ryan suffered a burst fracture of the L1 vertebrae and an incomplete spinal cord injury while landing a small drop during a morning run. He was airlifted to University of Vermont Medical Center, where he underwent surgery to fuse his T12 to L2 and reduce the compression on his spinal cord.

Following surgery, Ryan was experiencing paralysis below the knees, and after 4 days in the ICU and 2 days as an inpatient, he was transported to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, MA to undergo 8 weeks of acute rehabilitation and begin his path toward recovery.

Along with helping out Ryan’s gait, and making day-to-day life more manageable, he plans to get back to snow in 2019. The intense training that Ryan will be undergoing in the next three months will get him on track to achieve his goal.

This grant will enable me to maximize my rehab immediately following my inpatient treatment. I have the opportunity to spend the summer in Boston and take advantage of the many rehab resources in the area. For the next 3 months, my only job is to rehab, and I owe that to High Fives.


The High Fives Foundation supports injured outdoor 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 194 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).

donate to help adaptive athletes succeed

Leave a Comment