Olympian Nick Fairall to receive funding from High Fives Foundation following life-altering injury at the Ski Jumping World Cup in Bischofshofen, Austria
High Fives Foundation Empowerment Grant to provide vital recovery services following ski accident
Truckee, California, November 3, 2016 — The High Fives Foundation is awarding Nick Fairall of Andover, NH a board-approved Empowerment Grant that will afford him the opportunity to receive vital recovery services such as massage and acupuncture therapies.
On January 5th, 2015, Fairall was competing in the Ski Jumping World Cup in Bischofshofen, Austria. During qualifications, Fairall had a great jump that would have qualified him for the round; however, due to the wet snow conditions, his skis stuck in the snow immediately upon landing. Upon impact, he was certain that he had broken his back. He had sustained an L-1 fracture dislocation, which was fixed during the surgery. Due to the compression of his spinal cord, he lost the use of his legs; the body parts that allowed him to compete in the sport that he has truly loved for 20 years, and allowed him to become an United States Olympian.
“My absolute main goal, focus, and desire is to ski jump again,” says Fairall. “It will always be on my mind and I will always continue to work towards it.”
“Nick is a model High Fives Athlete,” said Roy Tuscany, High Fives Foundation Executive Director. “He’s positive, he’s highly motivated, and we’re proud to support him in all of his goals.”
(Truckee, California, November 3, 2016) — California’s High Fives Foundation is awarding Roslindale resident Meredith Koch an Empowerment Grant for high-performance adaptive ski gear and lessons to allow her to return to skiing this winter. Koch is in the recovery process from a life-altering injury she received in 2015.
The day before Koch’s 25th birthday she was helping friends move an upright piano out of the back of a pick-up truck. As it was coming out of the truck, it tipped over and landed on her back. The impact fractured Meredith’s sternum and shattered her L1 vertebrae. After an 8-hour surgery to put her spine back together again, she woke up in the surgical ICU paralyzed from the waist down.
Koch is currently walking with crutches, and she continues to spend multiple hours/day working on her recovery. She now wants to start taking her physical therapy out into nature.
“Meredith’s goal is to push her body to be the strongest and the most functional it can be despite the paralysis,” said Roy Tuscany, executive director of the High Fives Foundation.
“Since the age of three I have loved skiing,” said Koch. “Last season it was hard for me to be paralyzed, looking at my skis every day and not knowing if I would ever make it back onto them.” She had the opportunity to try some adaptive skiing lessons last year at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, learning how to ski standing up but with the support of specialized arm braces that have skis on them. This is known as four-tracking.
In addition to necessary equipment, this grant will allow her to ski six full days at Vermont Adaptive based in Sugarbush, Vermont.
(Truckee, California, November 3, 2016) — California’s High Fives Foundation is awarding Newry resident Kenny Young an Empowerment Grant for high-performance equipment to enable him to progress in adaptive skiing. Young is in recovery from a life-altering injury he received in 2006.
Before his injury, Young had aspirations of becoming a professional snowmobile racer. In the winter season of 2006, Young had a race in Valcourt, Quebec, which is the largest race in the East Coast circuit.
Conditions were less than perfect, and it had rained the night before. The temperature dropped quickly overnight, causing the track to ice over. During the race, Young got caught in a groove around the first corner, tipping over his slde and sending into the ice-covered hay bales. The impact left him with a spinal cord injury.
“I have now been mono-skiing for 9 years, and it is one of my biggest passions,” said Young. “I have also become a hand-cyclist, a water-skier, kayaker, and just an active outdoor person in general.”
For the past two years Young has volunteered at Maine Adaptive Sports at Sunday River where he has been teaching others to ski. His goal is to become a certified instructor so he can teach others more effectively. He would like to run mono-ski clinics through Maine Adaptive once he becomes certified.
“I’ve known Kenny since we were both at the same rehab facility in New Hampshire,” said Roy Tuscany, executive director of the High Fives Foundation. Tuscany was injured in a ski accident in 2006. His recovery process catalyzed the creation of the High Fives Foundation. “It’s very cool to reunite and come full-circle. Kenny has been doing extraordinary things since his injury.”
(Truckee, California, November 3, 2016) — California’s High Fives Foundation is awarding Amesbury resident Daniel Murray an Empowerment Grant for 40 hours of personal training at Project Walk to help in his recovery process from a life-altering injury he received in January of this year.
After graduating, Murray moved to Bend, Oregon to pursue a career in snowboarding. On January 27th, he took a jump and landed upside down. he fractured his T-10 vertebra, suffered traumatic brain injury and severe lung contusions.
A surgery on January 29th stabilized his spinal cord injury, but he currently has no use of his legs. A speech pathologist is monitoring his brain injury.
“I am going to eventually embrace adaptive skiing and snowboarding, but while my injuries are still new, I want to give it my all to recover walking again,” said 24-year-old Murray.
Project Walk is a spinal cord recovery center in Massachusetts. There he will be able to work on an electro stimulation machine that was effective for Murray’s recovery at Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in Boston.
“This is the second grant that Daniel has received for training at Project Walk. He is experiencing tremendous results and is very thankful for the initial grant that he received from High Fives,” said Roy Tuscany, executive director of the High Fives Foundation. Tuscany suffered his own spinal cord injury in 2006. His recovery process catalyzed the creation of the High Fives Foundation.