A $14,550 Empowerment Grant will provide Danielle Shannon with speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy to aid in her recovery from a traumatic brain injury

#HighFivesAthlete Danielle Shannon will work hard to return to the mountains | Photo Courtesy Shannon

The High Fives Foundation is awarding 26-year-old Danielle Shannon an Empowerment Grant to help aid in her recovery from a life-altering injury. On February 27, 2015 Shannon crashed into a rock while skiing at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska.

#HighFivesAthlete Danielle Shannon | Photo | Shannon
#HighFivesAthlete Danielle Shannon | Photo Courtesy Shannon


Ski patrol responded within ten minutes and they were quick to rush her to Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska. There, she underwent immediate brain surgery to relieve pressure and remove a blood clot. During the procedure, Shannon lost about half of her blood volume and underwent multiple facial reconstructive surgeries. The doctors originally said that she wouldn’t make it, but she has defied the odds and is making a tremendous recovery.

On top of the world! Danielle Shannon #HighFivesAthlete | Photo | Shannon
On top of the world! Danielle Shannon #HighFivesAthlete | Photo Courtesy  Shannon

An April 2015 Empowerment Grant from the High Fives Foundation provided Shannon the proper medical flight to transport her from Alaska to Maine General Hospital to be closer to her family as she began her rehabilitation. The High Fives Foundation has been in touch with the Shannon family since the day of Danielle’s accident.

Ripping! Danielle Shannon #HighFivesAthlete | Photo | Shannon
Ripping! Danielle Shannon #HighFivesAthlete | Photo Courtesy Shannon

Now that Shannon is in her hometown of North Conway, N.H., this May Empowerment Grant is providing intensive rehabilitative therapies — the necessary next steps in her recovery process. Shannon is provided speech therapy, occupational therapy, additional TBI specific occupational therapy and physical therapy.

“I am already able to walk and practice my cognitive ability, so my number one goal is getting me the very best therapists possible for my needs,” Danielle Shannon told the High Fives Foundation in her request for funding.

Danielle wants to get back into the mountains; hiking, biking, skiing, and climbing. She would love to continue coaching at Alyeska or maybe back in her hometown in New Hampshire, but for now, she is focusing on her recovery.



Since the High Fives Foundation’s January 2009 inception, the Empowerment program service has assisted 82 athletes from 20 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 2015, the High Fives Foundation set a budget of disbursing $266,000 via board-approved grants through the Empowerment Fund. Since January 2015, 21 High Fives Athletes and two organizations have been awarded 29 board-approved grants totaling  $181,199.

In the month of May the High Fives Foundation disbursed $34,406 in board-approved grants.

April Empowerment Athletes:
Kailyn Forsberg from Eagle, Colo.
Lindsay Runkel from Westport, Conn.
Bond Camp from Breckinridge, Colo.
Danielle Shannon from North Conway, N.H.
Matt Leonard from San Francisco, Calif.
Gates Hunsaker from Bountiful, Utah.
Jeff Andrews from Truckee, Calif.
Jason Giovannoni from Reno, Nev.


  1. Way to go Shannon! I’m so glad you’re back with some family support and the help of High Fives Foundation. Wishing you all the best as you continue your recovery.

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