January 2019 | East Coast Empowerment Grants Funded

Meet our East Coast #HighFivesAthletes who received grant funding in January 2019

Greg Durso from Stony Brook, NY, Athlete #233, Emmett Lyman from Charleston, MA Athlete #234 & Jack Sette-Ducati from Sudbury, MA, Athlete #230


Greg Durso | Stony Brook, NY | Athlete #233

Greg Durso is a T-4 complete paraplegic with no feeling or use of his body from the chest line down. He was sledding down Okemo Mountain in Vermont when he bailed off his sled and slid into a tree stump completely severing his spinal chord, along with breaking ribs.

Greg always has a smile on his face while he excels in multiple adaptive sports. He is an instructor at the Vermont Adaptive ski program, and he has attended ski and bike camps with the High Fives Foundation.

Maintaining a positive attitude has never been a problem for Greg.

Greg received a January 2019 grant from High Fives to cover the cost of a gym membership in Stony Brooke, NY. He plans to spend as much time in the gym as he can so get back to enjoying the outdoors.

worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere & making excuses and complaining are lazy, i'd rather be out having fun

He proudly states

Believe in the positive: This is life and its worth living intentionally.

Those are words that Emmett Lyman lives by


Emmett Lyman | Charleston, MA | Athlete #234

Emmett’s lifelong pursuit of adventure in wild places brought him around the world to climb rock and ice. In June 2018, Emmett was establishing a new alpine rock route on an unexplored, unclimbed peak in the remote Southern Alaska Range when rock fall knocked him off the ridge he was climbing. He survived a harrowing cliff side rescue after sustaining a traumatic brain injury, a compound fracture of his right forearm, and a fracture to his spinal vertebrae at the C5-C7 level, resulting in quadriplegia. He has now dedicated himself fully to regaining strength and mobility in daily therapy.

Emmett looks forward to getting back into the mountains he loves, spreading awareness of spinal cord injury and research, and bringing newfound insight back to his career helping to reform the healthcare industry to better align providers, payers, and patients.

In January, the High Fives Foundation granted Emmett $3,300 to use toward personal training at Journey Forward in Canton, MA. This will help him with his goals of back into the mountains.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity, in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.

This Henry David Thoreau rings true to Massachusetts native, High Fives Athlete, Jack Sette-Ducati as he lives life one day at a time, stays positive and has worked tirelessly on his recovery.

Jack Sette-Ducati | Sudbury Massachusetts | Athlete #230

In January 2018, Jack was training for a high school ski race, when he came around a gate and hit a rut, causing him to smash into a tree about twenty feet down from the course.

Jack’s T12 vertebrae sustained a bust fracture, some of his L1- L5 vertebrae were slightly fractured, he fractured two ribs, punctured a lung, and bruised his liver in the fall. His T12 vertebrae was replaced with a cage, and his spine is now fused from L1 to T11. He suffered a T9 spinal cord injury incomplete, and is now currently an ASIA D, and walking around on crutches with a single AFO brace.

Jack received a January 2019 High Fives grant for ski lessons at Vermont Adaptive. Jack got back to skiing the second he was able to, and it speaks volumes to his love of the sport.

Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 8.00.46 PM

Meet the 20 Empowerment Grant, JANUARY 2019 #HighFivesAthletes





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 235 Athletes from 32 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). 


High Fives focuses on preventing life-changing injuries and provides resources and hope if they happen.


The leader of education and recovery of life-changing injuries in outdoor sports.


The safety net of the outdoor community.

Leave a Comment