Meet #HighFivesAthlete Tommy Michaels (Athlete #197) from Berkeley, CA

In June 2018, the High Fives Foundation disbursed $74,539.86 to 24 Athlete’s across North America.

Tommy has made an amazing recovery, but still has a long way to go. High Fives has granted him $586 to be used toward a climbing gym membership so that he can continue his therapy on the wall.

In August 2017, Tommy Michaels went over his handlebars while biking on a dirt trail. The trail took a turn around a tree into a blind stepdown, which then led to an unexpected narrow bridge crossing a river. The bike steered away from the bridge into the river, sending Tommy head-first into the up-sloped river bank on the other side.

Once extracted, the initial trauma classified Tommy as an ASIA B incomplete paraplegia at the C4 level. His C5-C7 vertebrae were fused together and C6 had to be replaced. He is currently classified as an ASIA D C5 walking quadriplegic. Tommy’s right side has close to full mobility, though he lacks sensation, while his left side has severe motor inhibition with full sensation.

Michaels

Tommy will join the High Fives Crew at the Santa Cruz Surf Camp September 16-22. He has found a new love for surfing, a passion that wasn’t a part of his life prior to his injury.

The High Fives Foundation supports injured outdoor 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 212 Athletes from 31 states in nine respective funding categories: Living expenses, insurance, travel, health, healing network, adaptive equipment, winter equipment, programs and “stoke” (positive energy, outlook and attitude). 

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MEET THE 24 ATHLETES ACROSS NORTH AMERICA!

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | ALEX GOLDMEIER

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | SIERRA O’LEARY

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | DARIO MINATTA

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | MEG PROCTER

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | RIO PETERSON

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | BRADY DONAHUE

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | TYLER MCKENZIE

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | GEORGE GONZALEZ

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | JASON ABRAHAM

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | BRETT KENNEDY

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | ROD ALAVI

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | MIKE GREENLEE

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | JAY RAWE

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | CANDICE DUNGAN

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | KEVIN CHEUNG

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | KAILYN FORSBERG

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | JEFF ANDREWS

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | TOMMY MICHAELS

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | BROOKE NELSON

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | NOLAN TROWE

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | KIRK WILLIAMS

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | CODY WALKER

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | JOSH HARDER

HIGH FIVES ATHLETE RECEIVES EMPOWERMENT GRANT | TANELLE BOLT