NASHUA NATIVE RECEIVES CONTINUED GRANT FUNDING FROM TAHOE-BASED NON-PROFIT FOLLOWING SPINAL CORD INJURY IN MOUNTAIN BIKE ACCIDENT
In August 2016, St. Lawrence was mountain biking with some friends at the Highland Mountain Bike Park in Northland, N.H. During a run in the park’s jump course, he lost control and was propelled from his bike, causing him to land on his upper back. The impact resulted in a spinal cord injury at his T4 vertebrae, leaving St. Lawrence paralyzed from the chest down.
St. Lawrence has been an athlete his entire life, and he is dedicated to getting back to outdoor physical activity in any capacity. Mountain biking has always been his passion, and St. Lawrence trains tirelessly with the ultimate goal of getting back on his bike.
The April board-approved Empowerment Grant for $3,300 will provide St. Lawrence with specialized personal training at Project Walk in Stratham, N.H. This marks the second grant St. Lawrence has received from the High Fives Foundation. St. Lawrence believes that the gains he continues to make at Project Walk will prepare him to achieve his recreational goal.
“Project Walk offers something that other outpatient programs don’t; the hope that I will get back on my feet and the tools and strategies to do it.,” said St. Lawrence. “Their approach is unique in that everything that I do is out of my wheelchair, focused on triggering that muscle memory and keeping my legs moving. Getting back to my mountain bike is looking like it might happen sooner than later.”
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).