NASHUA NATIVE RECEIVES GRANT FUNDING FROM TAHOE-BASED HIGH FIVES FOUNDATION FOLLOWING SPINAL CORD INJURY IN MOUNTAIN BIKE ACCIDENT
The High Fives Foundation is awarding Ryan St. Lawrence an Empowerment Grant of $3,300 to be used toward personal training at a Boston-area rehabilitation facility.
In August 2016, St. Lawrence was mountain biking with some friends at the Highland Mountain Bike Park in Northland, N.H. During a run on the park’s jump course, Ryan lost control, propelling him 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 February board-approved Empowerment Grant for $3,300 will provide St. Lawrence with specialized personal training at Project Walk in Stratham, N.H., helping to push the 31-year old closer to his 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 147 athletes from 27 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 2017 the High Fives Foundation disbursed $119,294.50 in board-approved grants to 20 athletes in 6 states.